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Summer, Rewriting, and Life

Cheryl's Musings: Summer, Rewriting, and Life

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Summer, Rewriting, and Life

Between rewriting one novel, plotting out another, discussing a potential memoir project, and enjoying a bit of summertime freedom with family, I’ve been making lots of notes for blogs that then haven’t made it to an actual post. So: although I’m tackling the topic a bit late, I want to talk about summer, balance, writing, and life.

I’m not the only one with these things on my mind. Over the past few weeks, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed other bloggers’ thoughts—so I thought I’d round up some of my favorites for you.
  • Also hosting the Summer Revision Smackdown: the Cuppa Jolie blog, with Jolie Stekly.
  • Yat Yee Chong chronicles her writing goals and struggles as she tries to accommodate both her muse and her family during the unstructured days of summer vacation.
For me, the challenge of summer is that it requires me to shift gears from writing-mode to Mom-mode on a frequent basis. I don’t do it well. When I’m deep in writing—or rewriting—sometimes it takes me an hour to drag my head out of the foggy otherworld I inhabit when creating. Maybe I just have to recognize this about myself—and actually accommodate it—instead of trying to keep up my full writing schedule plus a full family schedule.

I love reading and re-reading the thoughts of other writers on summertime priorities, because it helps me figure out my own. It’s important for me to write this summer. I’m in such an exciting place, with requested manuscripts and a brand new agent, I don’t want to lose that momentum!

The trick is that I need to find those moments to put down my pen for an hour, a day, maybe even a week, so that I can go experience life, enjoy my kids, dig in the garden, hike, play with the dogs…all the important things that keep me anchored in this world.

After all, that’s what being a rich writer is all about!

:) Cheryl

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At June 17, 2009 at 1:32 PM , Anonymous Casey McCormick said...

My kids are little so I'm home with them every day, summertime or otherwise. The difference is that we want to be out in the lovely weather more.

I've had to basically schedule my life in a way that leaves me flexible for my children. I gave myself a bedtime and wake-up time, listed out what household chores I need to do daily or a certain day of the week, and (now) make a point of getting out and doing something every day.

The rest of my day goes to my writing and my job, which I fit in when the kids are preoccupied, napping, or in bed.

It's the only way I can keep it all together. Before I did this, something was always getting neglected whether it was the house, my work, or the kids being cooped up in the house too much.

I'm now trying to work with my fiance to find more time for my work and for us to spend together. The days just aren't long enough!

At June 17, 2009 at 3:49 PM , Anonymous Yat-Yee said...

Thanks for linking to my blog, Cheryl. I'm enjoying the great weather we're finally having, by sitting out in the backyard, listening to my kids make up an on-going game, while one of them grinds a soft rock into powder, and the other wanders around saying, "how about if..."

Between that and Gregor the Overlander, I am surrounded by creative thoughts.

Didn't plan it. But I'm accepting this gift with gratitude.

Have a great summer, with your kids and dogs and husband and books.

At June 19, 2009 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Cheryl Reif said...

I know what you mean, Casey--I'm trying to keep too many balls in the air and I keep dropping one of them. I like the idea of making myself get out of the house daily. When I get out, it's easier for me to pay attention to family rather than get caught up in house/bills/writing.

And Yat-Yee, thanks for the good wishes! I think you've got the right idea: enjoy the moment and notice the gifts when they drop into your life.

This morning (Friday!) I have no kids at home, so I'm hoping to do a bit of rewriting. The only hitch is that my trusty laptop just died--the one with the latest version of my WIP. Sigh. I'll keep plugging away....


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