Contributed by Weegee Sachtjen
A strange thing happens when the temperature starts to warm. As the days get longer and brighter, I find it harder to focus on word counts and synonyms. Bird songs and floral scents drift through my office like a siren’s call, forcing a mental block on dialogue creation.
In short, summer has a way of distracting me as a writer. I feel that while there is more sunlight in my days, I am spending less time at the keyboard.
I hope you are better disciplined than me—that you are able to power through your character development without heeding to the subtle lure of summer. If this is you, I am jealous.
For those who cave to temptation and abandon your work-in-progress for a daily dose of vitamin D, I have come up with a few tips to help us through the summertime writing blues:
1) Create a Summer Writing Ritual
Do you have a process or ritual that begins your writing segment of the day? Maybe it is listening to music. Perhaps it is an intricate step-by-step procedure that unlocks your muse. During the summer months, change it up. Bring summer into the ritual. Play Sudoku outside in the sun’s rays before disappearing into your office for your daily writing frenzy. Don’t avoid summer. Incorporate it.
2) Reward System
I believe in knocking out my writing (or chores) and then coasting for the rest of the day. It is easier for me to “get ‘er done” in the morning and enjoy what summer has to offer in the afternoon. I consider it my reward for a word count well done. Use summer to motivate you to power through your daily writing.
3) Walk It Out
Writers write even when they aren’t at the keyboard. Get out. Take a walk. Soak in the sounds of summer for twenty minutes. By the time you are back to your computer, you will be ready to write.
4) Writers’ Day Out
It’s easy to want to stay inside and pour out your thoughts during winter when the temps are low and the ambiance is dreary. Summer injects colour into our world. People still rush about but more leisurely. Take the time to enjoy it. Get out once a week for a peek at the world and all the inspiration it has to offer. An intentionally planned day out can actually help keep you focused for the rest of the week.
5) Enjoy It
Sure, summer reduces our word counts by way of vacations, visiting friends and patio evenings. But it also brings the counter-balance to our winter hibernations. It is how we connect with others and even ourselves. Take the time to enjoy it.
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