During the summer months, we tend to be scattered as writers. There are many reasons for this. Most of them have to do with the fact that most of our family is home and they are in vacation mode. But if you are a serious writer, you have to write some part of the summer. Otherwise, you will have a huge gap in your productivity levels, and that can really be frustrating in September when you realize that you got very little, if any, writing done.
The best remedy for this is to make sure that you write every day, if possible. You don’t have to write all day. But you should write at least one hour to be successful. Let’s do some math, shall we? If we merely write one hour a day, and write at least 500 words a day, and write 5 days a week (notice I am not including the weekend), you will write at least 20 hours a month, and a whopping 10,000 words!!! So, in 3 months, say, June through September, if you do this, you will have 30,000 words written! Like wow!!!!! That’s more than half a novel or a whole nonfiction book! And that isn’t a lot of time to spend writing, is it?
Each of us can find ONE hour a day to write! If we can’t, well, maybe we should not be considered writers, should we? I don’t mean to be harsh! But I do want to encourage each of you to do even ONE hour of writing a day for five days a week. Then take the weekend off, and start again.
But there is one caveat in this strategy! Drum roll please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FOR THE ONE HOUR A DAY THAT YOU WRITE, YOU MUST DO NOTHING BUT WRITE!
I know this sounds commonsensical, but it is really?
Here is a quiz for you. When you sit down to write do you:
- Just take a sec to answer a few emails: Then you turn around and twenty or more minute when by and no writing has been done?
- Do you answer the phone during your writing time?
- Do you allow your family to disturb you when you write?
- Do you have pets in your office who may beckon attention?
- Do you decide that maybe you should do some research while you are writing to look something up–just to notice that half an hour went by and you haven’t written a word?
- Do you do organizational work instead of writing: clearing your desk, your desktop, your computer, dust, lose something and need to find it and so on?
- Do you do business things such as prepare queries and pitches ready to send out during your writing time instead of writing? The business side of writing is just that, the business side! And sending out pitches qualifies in that category. It is busy work, yes necessary work, but NOT when you are supposed to be writing. It is a waste of time!
- Do you check email constantly, check for texts, look out the window, and so on?
Any of the above are distractions from your main writing and these things will make sure that you don’t get a lot of writing done when you sit down to write.
So, the next time you set out an hour to write, DO NOTHING BUT WRITE! And you will get a lot of writing done by the end of the summer.
Come back next week for more tips on how to write during the summer and make the most out of your summer writing!
~ Irene S. Roth