Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy: Staying Focused on Work

The kids are off from school. It’s 98 degrees outside and the thought of crashing waves and a breeze at the beach beckons. There’s a very enticing stack of books waiting to be read, which keeps whispering my name. We’ve got plans for both family trips and vacations (and yes, there is a difference). Going to barbecues at friends’ houses; Hosting barbecues for friends at my house. And of course, drinking gin and tonic. There are so many distractions to getting my work done in the summertime.

After some morning phone calls I dip into a client’s revised manuscript. And then I’m off! Fully immersed in the world of her story, the struggle of her main character. Wait! How many hours just passed? I take a little lunch break. I love summer lunches. Warm, ripe, in-season tomatoes. Lettuce from the farm-stand. An omelette with fresh herbs from the garden snipped into it. Home-made lemonade with less sweet than sour.

After lunch I finish reading the full I’d requested from an author I have an ongoing correspondance with. I’d rejected the first manuscript she pitched to me, after much internal debate. I’d rejected the second manuscript she pitched to me, with a revise/resubmit caveat. And now, I want to talk to her on the phone. Sometimes perseverance, both an author’s and my own, can pay off.

Iced coffee break. I raise the blinds a little and peer out the window from inside my airconditioned hidey-hole. I woke up 2 1/2 hours before my kids, to get some uninterrupted work done, then I ignored them most of the day while I worked some more. Having teenagers, even young ones, can be conducive to work. If we move fast now though, we might be able to get down to the beach for a little while before a late dinner. A barbecue, of course. Perhaps I’ll even read one of those beckoning books from my stack when I get to the beach.

How does the rhythm of your days change during the summer? How much work do you get done?


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4 responses to “Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy: Staying Focused on Work

  1. Work of any kind in the summer is almost like swimming in a sea of hot air with too much moisture in it. After 5 days of a non existant AC I managed to clean up my environment and I feel much better. Went on a hell bent adventure to create a new crochet technique afghan and it is so riviting I can’t stop. My iced coffee is made with good instant cubes and almond milk with stevia. Try it. I had contacted my workshop group for the new assignment and got no reply/ decided not to go in the AM at all so just for this week I’m pure “hooker” and no pen in hand. I do write about 50 pieces in a years time and don’t feel as though this little “vacation” has spoiled anything.

  2. Great post. I live in Toronto and summer here is a big deal. Torontonians basically worship this season like a god and we feel horribly guilty if we don’t take advantage of every sunny, warm day. So I’m definitely a much more disciplined writer in the fall and winter. More inspired, too.

  3. Around these parts, heat produces lethargy: for husband, kids, pets… and me, too. I give you credit for resisting the urge to take your board down to the beach, and read through a manuscript, instead! (I probably would have taken the ms into the sand with me!)

  4. Susan

    You had me at gin and tonic. The long summer days gives more time for kids, writing, baking, and all my other loves after the regular 8-5 job.