"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Survival Tips for Writers with Kids

Happy summer! The summer solstice fast approaches, so I'm taking a brief moment today to talk about:

The transition into summer

During the school year my kids are in school which is all great and provides me some semblance of a normal schedule. But when summer starts, everything changes. All of a sudden, the kids are home with me most of the time. Our evenings are scattered, and activities like baseball and football start to fall off the calendar. And most days, the kids want to grab their friends and head to the pool.

What is a writer to do? There are so many things that need to be done, from writing new words to preparing for a book release. From taking care of stuff around the house to packing for vacations.

Here are five basic summer survival tips for those writers who have kids:

1) Embrace the video games

Maybe this sounds horrible, but my kids get two hours of video games a day. These two hours become my golden writing time. I tell them I'm busy in my office and that they should do their very best to take care of themselves.

2) Multitask

Heading to the pool? I bring my laptop along and take it as the perfect opportunity to get some blog posts done. If I copy interview questions into a Word doc ahead of time, I don't even need WiFi.

3) Wake early

It's worth it. This quiet time around the house can be used for checking email, exercising, or writing. Whatever the case, find that silence and live just a moment in it.

4) Set expectations

Make a list of every daily activity you want to get accomplished, and do the same for your kids. Make a list of everything you expect them to do each day. Things like (1) be active, (2) work on math, (3) reading, etc. Setting the expectations ahead of time will encourage them to get those things marked off their list.

5) Have fun

It's summer. Take some time to chat by the pool or head to the park. It's not all about the work. Those days with your children will soon be gone.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tips. My problem is that I work and still have to drive my daughter to all her swim practices. I'm going to have less time to write, so will do the best I can. And I definitely want some of that fun, lazy summer time.

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Natalie! That is why I never do swimteam for my kids!