Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, June 17, 2013

Finding time to write in the summer

It is almost officially summer! As a writing parent, that means getting creative with finding time to write. Of course I am serious about my writing, but time with my children comes first. Also, we have activities and a couple of other things planned for the summer, so that's something I'll have to consider, as well.

The big thing about being a writing parent is that I refuse to make my being a writer this huge “secret.” I don’t write in a secret room or only when the kids are sleeping. I plant myself in the living room and allow the kids to see their mom writing. The children understand that Mommy writes books and needs to work on her book every day. I tell my daughter, a young author, the same thing: Write every day. So when they see me writing in my book, they respect this – that is, until there’s a crisis or the two of them start fighting. These writing sessions usually don’t last for very long, and with as much writing work as I have going on this summer, I’ll need to find some extra time to get more work done.

To start with, I need to spread the book work out. Because I’m working on 4 WIPs this summer, I can work on 2 books on Mondays and Wednesdays, then 2 books on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays can be used for catching up on work I could not get done. (I don’t usually work on my books on the weekends, but during the summer, I need to make that happen!)

One thing I can do to have time to write is get up early or stay up late. This way, in addition to my normal writing time during the day, I can have extra writing time in the morning or at night. Because my days are completely unpredictable, it could go either way.

Playdates are also nice. A mom who lives across the street has a son who is the same age as my own boy, and the two of them get together every weekend for a playdate. We take turns hosting playdates, and when it’s her turn, that is time right there to write.

My son is signed up for summer school for two days a week. These are ideal times I will have to work on my books – definitely more than one hour of writing time. The time the kids are in school is designated as “me time” – time to write, read or enjoy a movie. The same goes during the summer. While my son is at summer school, I’ll have more time to write. (The oldest is more understanding about my need to have time to write while her brother is at school so there’s no need to worry there.)

Sometimes, I’ll “hire” my oldest, my daughter, to watch my youngest, my son, for an hour so I can have time to write. This is usually when I absolutely NEED the time to work on a book and can’t seem to fit in the time, and it usually works out really well. My daughter is happy to earn a little money from babysitting, anyway. She wants to take on some babysitting jobs when she gets a little older, and this is good practice for her.

These are pretty much the best ways for me to get some writing time during the summer. I don’t want to miss out on summer fun with my children and the time I have with them is very important because they’ll be grown up and living on their own before I know it! So in order to have time to write and be able to enjoy the summer with my kids, these are going to be the methods I will have to start putting to use if I want to get some writing done.

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