Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Writing in the Summer

A Female Author Neglecting her Home and Child by Honore Daumier
 (thanks for emailing the image Paula!)

Never mind the 'what summer?' part, but seriously how do other writers do it? And by IT I mean, write through the school summer holidays. Here's how I'm bravely tackling and heroically failing on days I'm not in my other job -

Step One: I set the alarm for 5.30 am...
I reckon if I start work then, and give the kids a few bowls of cereal when they get up at 9ish that I'll be able to get almost SEVEN hours writing in, if I stop at half twelve that is. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Like one of those Days In The Life on the back page of the Sunday Times Magazine, you know... oh yes dahling I wake a dawn and chant, go to the gym, have a grape, check my email, give birth, eat seeds, do yoga, make dinner for twelve...anyway -

Step Two: I hear the wonderful 5.30 alarm but am unable to lift my head from the pillow, so drift in and out of 'I should be writing' guilt infused dreams, or even better dreams where I write numerous wonderful scenes... needless to say 5.50 is a distant memory by the time I rise.

Step Three: Its raining so I bribe the children with chipper chips and TV to leave me alone to write in the kitchen. After forty minutes they've been in twenty times for water, ice-cream, a kiss for a sore nose/elbow/ forehead, or to relate the funny bits from a cartoon, or to wonder aloud when they're ever ever going to get an xbox... I work like this for a few hours (what do you mean my poor children?!)

Step Four: I firmly decide to definitely wake at 5.30 tomorrow. So I set the alarm with conviction this time.

Step five: See Step 2, 3, 4 and repeat... :)

For an uplifting & wise post on the subject - check out the wonderful Sacred Dirt

14 comments:

Old Kitty said...

The fact that you set your alarm for 5.30 am is totally mind blowing for me!

Take care
x

Words A Day said...

lol! I've some mindblowing intentions:)

Faith Pray said...

I'm with you! This is a funny, funny time to play writer / mama! Maybe it's training us for the writer olympics or something: How to write and still use half a brain at the same time. Cheers on your summer words!

Theresa Milstein said...

Ha! I set my alarm for 5:30 during the school year, so I can't bear to do it now. I am using my mornings to get some work done, but most days aren't more than two hours. Slow and steady wins the race?

Hope you have better luck tomorrow...

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

I hate the summer holidays. Make Headway with New Novel Plans for 1st June still haven't quite gotten off the ground. Sigh.

Words A Day said...

slow and steady sounds very comforting Theresa:)

Thanks Faith, I liked your take on the subject, very philosphical, just what I needed:)

Nuala, I know its sooo frustrating, wish I were the up like a lark type:)

Jan Morrison said...

Oh dear, you and Faith are exactly what I need. No little kids - grown kids with big issues, teenage kids with lovely HUGE attitudes, a house for sale with a dog that creates another him every hour or so in hair - my work.
The good thing is that in the summer I don't see so many clients - everyone feels a bit better with the sun shining - but I also long to write write write. And I am - but something has to go. Shall it be my sanity? Oh why not - what's it ever done for me anyhow.
Whacks of kisses across the ocean to you my dear!!

Alison Wells said...

Yes, yes this is me! Esp the set alarm and weary head bit! I did one 5am. And really it's not productive later, the underlying guilt, the kids telly. It's 9.43 already. I think my moment has already passed! Oh I do sympathize!

Brigid said...

Niamh, hilarious!! I came out of hibernation in solidarity with you:)
All I can say is us female Irish writers are upping the sales of our local chippers this summer, such a glamorous world we live in.
I have this vision of summer writing in my head, it doesn't translate to reality unfortunately, mainly because it involves being in Provence while children skip through orchards etc..while I produce works of genius. Keep going, we'll get there:)

Words A Day said...

jan, thankyou! sanity's over-rated anyway:)

Words A Day said...

Brigid, thanks for coming back:)
wish my kids were skipping through orchards! Love the new photo, is it an instagram, great colours, would make a great magpie prompt...

Words A Day said...

Alision, well done on your one! if I got that far..

Niamh B said...

actually really inspiring stuff Niamh... am v impressed with your brilliant intentions - and those guilt infused dreams are probably super turbo charging your mind to allow those 5 mins at the keyboard (between cuts and chips etc) be the most brilliant 5 mins of any writer anywhere...

Words A Day said...

niamh B
lol! Thanks for that!

Yes it was a summer of searing
brilliant haikus, not:)