My writing wish list for summer 2023 is short (8 words):
1. Finish translating a book.
2. Take a month off.
Do you have grand plans for your summer writing? Now is a good time to think what’s realistic, how you’re going to write it, and most importantly, when you’re going to rest.
Out of the office routine, writing is both easier and harder. I’ve spent the last ten days on the road, travelling to two conferences and a choir concert, seeing family, and fitting in the work I have to. I started writing this on the train home (view from that train pictured above). Travelling reminded me of what I have to have to write. Here’s the first few letters of my writing ABC…
On an actual plane you have to do this, but putting your laptop or phone into airplane mode will block onscreen distractions out of your text. And it makes your battery last a lot longer.
To do A without losing a three-hour flightsworth of work I resort to a good old fashioned USB stick. Feels unbelievably retro, but it works.
Sit down and block out all the time off you need first (if you don’t take it in summer, you won’t make it to winter). Then look at what’s left for writing and divide your plan up into the time available. So if you have ten writing days and 10,000 words to write you have to do a thousand words a day. When they’re written, you can stop. This sounds obvious but is SO useful if you do it.
When I am a guest or host, often the only way I can get writing done is to get up early, grab some fruit juice and write for an hour or more before anyone else is up. If you’re enough of a sometimes-morning person to do this, it’s brilliant. Impossible things can happen before breakfast!
Translators say you can translate drunk but you must edit sober. To catch slips, look at what you wrote in unusual circumstances again in a more stable environment. Don’t forget to factor this in to C.
Pausing something won’t make it go away but changing tasks or tack can indeed be as good as a rest.
The other writers out there can help you stay on track and you can do the same for them. Even on the road, I’ve kept up my zoom hour to Write on Wednesdays. And after a long summer break, I know the group will catch me. We will get back into it together at our next writing retreat – at Valo Helsinki on 17–18 August.
How do you ensure you get your writing done so you can have a proper rest? What’s your writing ABC?
new retreat dates – seuraavat retriitit
2 thoughts on “Write through summer”
You are so organised, Kate. 🙂 I enjoyed reading your wish list for summer. In fact, you’ve inspired me to think about mine. Enjoy the season!
Thank you Khaya! I’m not as organised as I’d like to be but I have learned to take the little bits of writing time when I can find them (mums and anyone else I know with caring responsibilities are amazing at this!)