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Summertime and the Writing Is Challenging

The WRite Life: Balancing summer fun, children out of school, and writing goals.





My daughter, Anika has been out of school for three weeks. The classes I taught at the college ended about that time as well. The day after her last day of school we left for a cruise to Alaska (which was meaningful and fun). Three days later, after I washed about seven loads of laundry, changed sheets on three beds, and made a trip to Costco for food, my sister and her two children came to visit. Her son stayed an extra three days and left early this morning.


There have been trips to the lake, to swim parties, to the fair, to mandatory soccer meetings. My son has had dental appointments, physical therapy appointments, and driving tests.


My air went out when the weather reached 107 degrees. There has been a trip to the walk-in clinic when my son broke his finger. We have stayed up as late as 1 am.


This is summer, right?


And yet, I need to write. I have goals. I have clients whom I am writing for. The whole glory of summer as a teacher, mother, and student is to let schedules go. Time becomes the stream to fish in.


I am no longer stressed come 9 pm and my daughter is still awake. There is no homework. No drama was brought home from her middle school. Here in Northern California, the days are long and warm. We eat well, red watermelons, popsicles mid-day, cool gin, and tonics (me not my children.)


This is how I make my writing happen. This is how I don’t let my goals and dreams fall to excuses of “I am too busy.”


I still wake early. Lucky for me, I have two teenagers, and one of the many things are true of what people say about teens is that they sleep. They sleep a lot, not at night mind you, but way into the morning, and even afternoons.


It is 11:22 am, here in Redding. I have written the section I planned to in my memoir. I have posted once on Instagram. And I have talked with a client about her book for almost two hours. And still, I had time to begin this piece.


Though it is summer, I still work during the weekdays, and often on the weekends when my children are gone or busy.


I never tell my children, friends, or clients to do it THIS way. That is generally silly advice for most things. Many of you may work a 9-6 job, and many of you may prefer to write in the evenings. Some of you have babies and small children—I remember those days and nights. I can only offer you an example.


Be conscious of your time and your goals. You can do this. Play, let summer be full of fish jumping and long days in the sun with your loved ones.


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