It’s five months into the year, and, with the exception of a Spring Break trip and the week the entire family took turns with the stomach flu, I’ve had a solid and productive writing routine going.

My quota? One new chapter a week since the first of the year. Divided into the two mornings I drove the kindergarten carpool. Instead of heading home only to turn around and go back to pick up the boys, I’d drop them off, find a parking spot and pull out my AlphaSmart. No Internet, email or blogs to distract me. No solitaire or sudoku. No laundry or cleaning. Just a quiet car and the freedom to create.

And then came summer vacation.

My teaching husband and our three kids are all home. This means frequent interruptions and distractions. Noise (both happy and not-so-much) from the kids, the television, and the slamming door as they go in and out to play. I can work for my part-time job in the middle of chaos. I can blog, critique, read, and even edit previous chapters in the middle of the active household.

But I’m finding it very hard to create. I get a feisty string of dialogue going and lose it mid-stream. I think of a hook and then it’s gone. I find myself telling instead of showing. Falling back on cliches instead of fresh comparisons. Not to mention the word count per writing session is less than half what I normally would write.

If I’m going to push ahead to the end of this story, I have to change my writing routine for the summer. Instead of trying for time on several different days, I may block out a single day each week for creating. By leaving my kids in the care of their father or a nearby grandmother, I can sneak away for a large chunk of time in an isolated place. Armed with snacks and drinks, I’ll pound out the words until the chapter is done. And return home one step closer to “The End” not to mention happier for having accomplished my weekly goal.

What about you? Do your routines change with the seasons? Do you have any suggestions for this fledgling writer?

Changing Routines
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3 thoughts on “Changing Routines

  • June 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm


    I would definitely agree with you that when summer comes what has worked prior to that, is about to change. I like to take early mornings before the house wakens and spend that time doing what I need to and once the house is alive again, my peace is restored.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  • June 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    >Hi Candee –

    Summer harbors different distractions for me. My garden, long rides in the country, time with family and friends, and home improvement projects all conspire against a writing routine.

    I'm now trying to block out a chunk of time at least two or three days a week for working on my book. Then, I can enjoy my other activities without feeling guilty or frustrated.

    Susan 🙂

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