Wicked Wednesday – Summer Writing Habits

It’s Wicked Wednesday, when we all weigh in on a topic. And it’s Liz here, thinking about how it’s hard to believe we’re well into summer. (By the way, thank goodness, and please let it last for a LONG time!). But it begs the question of summer writing habits. With longer, warmer days, the tempting waves of the ocean beckoning, and the lure of the ice cream stand after dinners at the picnic table, it seems only natural that our writing habits would shift along with the weather. While my day job makes it so my schedule is pretty consistent, I still find myself doing things differently in the summer, such as writing on my porch swing or writing later into the night because it just doesn’t feel as late as it is.

So Wickeds, what about the rest of you? How do your writing habits shift in the summer, if they do at all?

Sherry: Writing habits? I’ve confessed before that I’m notoriously bad at sitting down at the same time every day and writing. So the seasons don’t really change my writing patterns. And this summer I’m in that odd purgatory of not knowing if my contract will be renewed to write more Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries or not. I’m working on a short story but it wants to become a novel. And I’m dusting off my old books that have a gemologist as a protagonist. So in a way it’s been a summer of experimentation but just not at the same time every day.

Edith: If anything, I get up even earlier than usual because of that darn pesky sun. So I’mjenness still at my desk every morning, and I never write at night. But I do make time to take an hour out to go blueberry picking a few times in July, and my daily walk gets shifted earlier, because it’s just too hot and sunny at 11 AM. I keep telling myself I’m going to the beach to sit and write, and yesterday I finally did! But I got there at 7 and left by ten-thirty. My Celtic skin just can’t take the sun anymore, no matter how much I love it.

Jessie: I seem to keep having September 1 deadlines which means my writing is in a completely different place in summer than it is the rest of the year. Just as the weather tries to convince me to take it easy, my conscience goes into overdrive. Also,since I have school-aged kids there are different demands on my time during the day while they are on vacation. I also enjoy entertaining in the summer so there are plenty of excuses to play rather than to work when we are lucky enough to have company. All in all, I have to be more disciplined and to awaken before there rest of the household in order to make things work.

Julie: I just hit submit on Book #2, so this summer has had a wicked schedule. In general, my writing rhythms are dictated by deadlines. But, generally, I find summer harder to buckle down and write. There is so much else to do! I am also in a lighter mood, which makes it challenging to plot death and destruction.

Readers, tell us about how your habits change with the seasons. Leave a comment!

20 Thoughts

  1. I am at my most prolific in the dead of winter, writing all morning on top of the heating vent, taking a break, and editing all afternoon. Summer is a struggle with garden chores and house guests, though I’m constantly running summer plot scenarios through my head.

  2. My schedule stays the same, but there’s one problem. I live in an 1870 Victorian house, which would be impossible to air-condition even if we tried (too much open space), and the electric bills would be enormous. My workspace is upstairs, in a corner, and I observe daily that heat does indeed rise. And then stays there. So by the end of the day it can be a sauna, and I have to retreat to a cool dark room and read a book (poor me!). Luckily this extreme heat happens only a few times each summer.

    1. I have the opposite problem, that of cold air descending. In the cooler seasons I end up shivering at my desk and have trouble getting my fingers to move since they are frozen stiff. In the summer I sit at my desk on the porch with a big grin on my face soaking up the swelter.

  3. My routine stays pretty much the same in summer, except that there are more interruptions for events that also involve large chunks of time for travel. I have a hard time getting back into the flow of the writing when I miss a day, and a really hard time when I’ve just taken four or five days off to attend a conference. On the other hand, it’s nice to have a great excuse to drive two hours to the coast of Maine for events like Books in Boothbay last weekend and the Beyond the Sea Book Festival in Lincolnville Beach at the end of the month.


  4. No change for me. I’m creative in the morning and do paying work in afternoon, and tinker at night. It took me a long time to get this schedule to work, so I think I’m afraid to wiggle with it! What if it stops working? Don’t jinx the dirt, as they say in baseball.

    1. I try to do my creative work in the morning too. It always feels like the day is a win overall if I get words on the page at the very start.

  5. My schedule is similar to Edith’s and Ramona’s. I’m up early with the sun and I can never get back to sleep. I usually do my own work, either writing, revising, or proofing, depending on where I am with my projects, in the morning, then do paying and volunteer work in the afternoon. Then if I’m behind (which is more often than I’d like), I sometimes work for a few hours after I’ve cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. But I try not to.

    1. Oh, and when it’s crazy hot and muggy like it is now, I often go and set up camp in an air-conditioned coffee shop. My house is only partially air conditioned and I get very cranky when I am hot and sweaty 🙂

  6. I always think I’ll have more time in the summer for reading and watching my TV on DVD sets. And while my summer TV shows are about half of the main TV season, I have ultimate Frisbee summer league, which takes up an added hour of my week and keeps me from having the time I think I will.

    Wait, does that answer the question or not? 🙂

  7. This summer I’m working around short trips, so there are interim deadlines that keep me moving intensely OR periods when I attend to all that Other Stuff like a website and a brand. Did I mention I fit in a short-term job, too? It’s been a change of pace and I’ve gotten a lot done. I’m confident there will not be another summer quite like this one. Back to packing for Iceland…

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