Friday, August 8, 2014

Did Summer Derail Your Writing Progress?

Has it been weeks since you added words to your novel? Or revised? Or started a story idea?

Is your heart racing? Does a feeling of dread at your lack of progress eat at your stomach?

I know. Whenever I take more than three days off from a writing project, I panic. Let's just say I've been high strung a lot lately! My usual summer writing schedule hit the skids in early July due to new sports' obligations. My daughter joined a runner's group. My son started weight-training. And now that August is here, they both have mandatory cross-country and football practices every morning.

Instead of acting like a normal human being, I had a series of ridiculous thoughts looping around my brain constantly.

I'm wasting my whole summer in the car and I have nothing to show for it!
I should be working on a new plot.
I should be scheduling my day better.
The house is a disaster. Why is the house always a disaster??
Why is there an appointment/meeting/practice every five minutes?
I'm getting nothing done! And I'm not even having fun!

After about a week of that nonsense, I mentally slapped myself. Then I wrote down every writing-related thing I'd accomplished since June 1. I was shocked at how much I HAD gotten done! And knowing I'd completed quite a few tasks gave me the push I needed to start a new project.

This week has been crazy. But I brainstormed character names during a walk Wednesday night. I squeezed in three short sessions of Pinterest searches for the right hero and heroine. I told myself five to fifteen minutes here and there are better than nothing.

Thankfully, I had three full hours yesterday afternoon to relax and work. Did I take a twenty-minute nap? You betcha! Did I work on my new plot the rest of the time? Yes!

Next week will be busy too, but I'm setting small goals for each day. School will be back in session before I know it, and writing will take top priority. Until then? I'm trying to chill out!

Do you get more done in the summer? Less? What season seems to be the best time for you to work?

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Awesome post, Jill. I actually did get quite a bit done this summer...I had to, I had both a novella and novel due in July. But I definitely go through seasons where I feel like I accomplish nothing...and that's hugely discouraging. So I'm tucking this post away in my book pocket to pull out on those days. (Oh, and the season I struggle to get the most done in, I think, is fall...I just love it so much that I want to spend every weekend at orchards, bonfires, pumpkin patches, etc. :) )

    1. I'm so proud of you! You met your deadlines in the SUMMER! Impossible, right? But you did it!! Part of my problem is I conveniently forget that the things I'm doing are part of my job even if I'm not writing or revising. This is a multi-dimensional business!

  2. I couldn't agree more. I'm not doing any writing until school starts. My kids deserve a mom for part of the summer! I'm excited for the break. I'll probably do a house project. :) And the house being a disaster comment... yeah that one is tough. We just can't keep up!

    1. "My kids deserve a mom for part of the summer!" AMEN!! It takes a lot of juggling, guilt, frustration, joy, and Coca-Cola, but we can be moms too!

  3. I think each season has its own ebb and flow. Add the demands of family and work, all one can do is dance as fast as she can.

    1. I agree. I'm always productive in March. The weather is so gloomy and I know spring will come, so March is my best month!

  4. Barely anything done, but summer is ALWAYS like that. Add writing? HA! Like Jill Buteyn said, my kids deserve a mom for the summer.
    Although, even with one at home? Umm, yeah, I didn't see my new job as "cruise director" coming at me at all.
    I am getting SOME writing done. But thankfully, I'd pre-arranged with certain people that I'd get very little writing done over the summer.

    1. It's true!! Summer is an animal! Cruise director, mom-taxi, feeder of the young--they're all time-consuming. :) I'm glad I wasn't mid-rough-draft this summer. It would have been a disaster!


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