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It's Summer Vacation.

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My kids are home for the summer. My days are packed with trips to the park, and breaking up fights. and trips to the swimming pool, and breaking up fights. My kids are not quite old enough for me to say, "Go play! I'll be right here. Writing." Mostly because of all the fighting.

I am only a few days in, and my writing time has disappeared. Poof.
 
I'm not going down without a fight. I will ignore their calls for food and water and bandaids while I scribble. Something. A sentence or a scene or a full draft when I give up and let them play Angry Birds. All Day Long.

I'd love company. Is anyone interested in checking in to keep each other :oncomputer?
#1 - June 10, 2013, 06:36 PM

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Oh man, RaeE. I am SO with you!!!!!! There have been summers that have been productive...somehow...at least, I think so...but I'm pretty sure I've never done a first draft in the summer, either. The fights. The overscheduling. Even the battling for time on my own laptop! My kids aren't even that small anymore (the range is 4-15). But this is pretty hard! The 4YO has been deposed as ruling tyrant since the other kids got out of school, so he follows me around all the time, and if I'm out of sight for a SECOND, he's worried about where I am. He wasn't this bad during school! I keep trying to think of how to find a moment when they are all asleep and/or otherwise occupied, but so far it hasn't happened. I just need a little time alone in my head. Then I can do all the fun stuff with kids for the rest of the day! Really!

I did read a few paragraphs of the ms I'm supposed to be revising to be amazing! thrilling! heartrending! etc. today Um. It was not exactly the most productive moment ever, but I guess it was better than nothing??? Plus I have one month to come up with 3000 new words for my crit group. That's only...100 words a day, right?

*Deep breaths* We can do this!
#2 - June 10, 2013, 06:44 PM

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GOOD. Yes. My littlest is 3, and she is a breeze. Our days alone together consisted of her saying, "Can we get a donut today, Mommy?" and me pretending to have to think about that before agreeing. I adore my boys (6&7). They are absolutely wonderful little people, and I love that we have time together. They are also complete opposites, and feel the need to remind each other (and me) of that fact EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF THE DAY. The oldest is in favor of having long conversations to figure out exactly why they differ and what they should do to find an appropriate solution, and the middle prefers the quick, band-aid-inducing route. Especially when triggered by his brother's non-stop talking.  :gaah

I might be considering this my writing for the day. I also wrote two sentences of background info for my WIP earlier. I'm probably an overachiever.
#3 - June 10, 2013, 06:58 PM

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Oh, ladies, I will plop myself down right here.  :suitcase

Vacation started on Friday and I have done nothing but...let me think...I'm sure I wrote something...no, never mind. Oh, does a grocery list count? My three boys (8, 6 & 2) are lovely and fun and I adore them and they make it completely impossible for me to accomplish a single thing. Sigh.

I think you are both on the right track with lowering expectations, but just not all the way to zero. My plan (which I've only managed to do one day so far) is to think through what I feel inspired to write that day (or what I have to write) during the kids' hour of tv time in the morning so I can get right at the actual writing during the hour of nap my 2 year old takes in the afternoon. The one time I actually made this work, it was great. Of course, right now I am spending my planning hour on line....whoops! But I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone! Jen :coffee3:
#4 - June 11, 2013, 06:56 AM

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Welcome, Jenn! I love your plan. I think the :coffee will be crucial. :)

Pen and paper might be my saving grace. The computer magically makes the kids fight (I say while on the computer), but watching me write makes them all gravitate toward the table with with paper and markers. I have another page of background notes written... if nothing else, I will get my MC figured out and the plot in line.
#5 - June 11, 2013, 07:39 AM

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I feel your frustration Rae ... I was in your shoes a few years ago. This is one of the reasons I write a lot of shorts. Even though my children are older, we spend a lot of time together doing projects or going to the parks/beaches and I am all too aware of how quickly this time is passing. So enjoy this time and I hope you'll be able to keep your writing muscles limber. I still insist on quiet time in the afternoon so that I can write.

Vijaya
#6 - June 11, 2013, 08:47 AM
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I don't have to worry about this any more, but I'll sympathize.  :coffee3:

Author Marilyn Sachs once said that when she started writing her kids were little, so she followed the school calendar and wrote when they were in school--even after they were grown and moved out!  :)
#7 - June 11, 2013, 08:50 AM

My summer writing plan started today - I just write in the morning before they're all up or it's a circus. So far so good - on day 1. ;)
#8 - June 11, 2013, 09:15 AM
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I've just passed this phase, but I, too, can sympathize. :hug

You may not believe it, but someday all-too-soon you'll miss the free material your threesome provide.
#9 - June 11, 2013, 09:16 AM
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You may not believe it, but someday all-too-soon you'll miss the free material your threesome provide.

Maybe I'll ignore the writing and take notes instead. :)  Thanks for all the  :hug. Hopefully we'll have tons of fun, and some work time for Mom, too!
#10 - June 11, 2013, 11:36 AM

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My kids are 9 and 12, but still, my productivity level is going to plummet when they're out next week.  I keep telling myself I'm going to get up at 6 before they do and get some work done, but so far, no go.  I work at home and looooove my quiet 8am to 3pm kids-in-school time.  It's so hard for me to concentrate and work when I'm constantly interrupted.  So, I hear ya ladies.
#11 - June 11, 2013, 04:48 PM
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I was able to keep working on notes for my WIP, make a few notes about these three wonderful, sweet, and exhausting small people who keep eating all the food in my refrigerator, and write a bit just for me.

I hope you were all able to find a few minutes, too!
#12 - June 11, 2013, 07:43 PM

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>>three wonderful, sweet, and exhausting small people who keep eating all the food in my refrigerator<<

Lol. RaeE. That is summer for me, too. All the kids and all the food--all day long!!

I er, worked a bit on a revision yesterday? I still have to find today's writing...
#13 - June 12, 2013, 01:21 PM

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Olmue, yes.

I've sent five emails today and I am writing this post. Does that count?  :slaphead:

#14 - June 12, 2013, 01:43 PM

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Looks like I can write all I want today, as long as I'm cool with the 8YO reading over my shoulder. Every. Single. Word.

Another difficult element of summer is that writing involves extended computer use. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get my kids OFF the computer. It's something I haven't figured out how to solve yet...
#15 - June 12, 2013, 01:51 PM

RaeE, I hear you. Today is the first day of summer vacation, and I have four at home right now. Total words written today = 20. Lowering expectations sounds like the most realistic plan for now.
#16 - June 14, 2013, 03:37 PM

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I'm right there with you all. Three boys from 7 - 10. And they are not exactly in the getting along great phase! I just can't seem to focus when they are home. We had this same conversation on a FB writing group I'm in, and the end result was duct tape has many uses!   ;)

But seriously, I'm getting a babysitter hopefully once a week to get at least a three hour stretch at the library or coffee joint with no whining. . . . and just to keep my sanity!

#17 - June 14, 2013, 06:10 PM
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Hi Hannah and dkshumaker! Duct tape sounds brilliant, but hopefully the babysitter will work just as well. That gummy residue can be pesky...  ;)

I've managed 700 words today. I'll take it. Time to get outside and enjoy the sun!
#18 - June 17, 2013, 12:00 PM

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There must be a Stevie Ray Vaughn sign on my door that says, "If the house is a-rockin', don't bother knockin'".  :hairdude
I love that my teenage son and his friends prefer our house to any other hangout, but between XBox, the stereo, and the pinball machines, I have written a whopping 277 words today. All day. #TURNITDOWN!
#19 - June 17, 2013, 02:35 PM
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My productivity has definitely dipped since my boys went on vacation! Even if I can carve out the time, can't find the energy. Between running around with them and being in the query trenches, I'm having trouble getting any momentum on my new MS. Oh well, camp starts in July.
#20 - June 17, 2013, 09:23 PM

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RaeE, the thread you started here a week ago inspired me to write today's blog post...
http://mirkabreen.blogspot.com/2013/06/writing-in-summer.html
 :beach
#21 - June 18, 2013, 08:16 AM
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 01:14 PM by 217mom »
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Mirka, that cartoon is way too much like my real life!!
#22 - June 18, 2013, 08:18 AM

Love that cartoon, Mirka. So true!

I had set a goal of finishing this revision in time for school to let out so I could hand it over to my critique partner. It's not looking good since school let's out on Friday and I'm about 2/3 done. I don't want to rush it, yet if I have a long break from it i'll completely forget what I was doing. I think I'm going to switch to a temporary nighttime insane writing schedule just to FINISH. Days are difficult no matter what until day camp begins.  :banghead
#23 - June 18, 2013, 09:22 AM
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Half the boys left around 4:30 yesterday, which cut the noise WAY and then I FINALLY got in a thousand words. And then I broke my toe.  :aah
#24 - June 18, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Mirka, I love it. Add in a little Cain/Able action, and that's my summer. I don't want to rush or wish away these summers... I would just like to be ME instead of mom for some small part of them. No writing yet today. For some reason I can't currently remember, I thought it would be a good idea to do paper mache with three small children. Who all have varying degrees of sensory integration disorder. As do I. We all survived. ::-) Off to sneak large quantities of chocolate and hide in a dark room until they realize I'm missing. :)
#25 - June 18, 2013, 10:27 AM

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Writing in summer is tricky around here too -- but since I work part-time during the school year (and spend way too much time at the kiddos' school), I actually have more time in the summer.  Plus, two days a week, they also have writing projects to work on...and I've tried to 'model' that by working on my revision.  So far, I've spent one whole afternoon writing...and they've been out for almost 3 weeks.  But I guess a couple hours is better than nothing, no?  :)

Vonna, ouch!!
#26 - June 18, 2013, 12:43 PM
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What a fun thread. It's neat seeing how everyone works out their schedules. Well, since I'm a teacher so even with two boys at home I get a whole lot more writing done during the summer. So far it's been great and I'm already cringing at having to go back to work in two months and write at nights again when I'm exhausted. I'm cheering a yay for summer!
#27 - June 18, 2013, 12:56 PM
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I don't want to rush or wish away these summers... I would just like to be ME instead of mom for some small part of them.
Amen. This applies to all of life, really. I enjoy my children so much more if I also get to be ME sometimes. I think they benefit, too. ;)
#28 - June 18, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Amen. This applies to all of life, really. I enjoy my children so much more if I also get to be ME sometimes. I think they benefit, too. ;)

So, so true.

Kids wrap up tomorrow -- they're not in camps (well, just mine, Camp Wackimama), but are old enough (11, 10, 8 & 7) to play with friends, either here or elsewhere. And I'm planning a bunch of free or inexpensive things for us to do (Mommy field trips!), and we have the Y pool. I'm hoping to get myself on some sort of schedule so writing doesn't take a back seat as usual!
#29 - June 19, 2013, 08:04 AM

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I'm already cringing at having to go back to work in two months and write at nights again when I'm exhausted. I'm cheering a yay for summer!

Me too! School let out for me yesterday and it takes me a few days to adjust to a lack of routine and not have to get up and go somewhere. Since I'm a teacher I feel like I should get lots of writing done in the summer but that is never the case.

Vonna, owie! What did you do?

Karen-stay up, get it done!! This is the tween?

I'm glad you guys started this thread! I planned on getting up early this morning and get some done before the kids woke up but that didn't happen so I'll probably stick with my night time writing because it keeps me away from the TV!
#30 - June 19, 2013, 10:37 AM
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