Writing and the Summer Holidays.

How do I know it’s the school summer holidays in my house? Well apart from the mess, the noise and the lack of food, I have also lost a huge chunk of precious writing time. And I know I am not alone in this. Many other writers are currently having the same issue.

So, what do we do?

Well, I’m afraid there isn’t much you can do. I have spent months leading up to the six weeks break saying, ‘I will write when LO is in bed,’ and, ‘whenever LO is occupied doing something, I’ll get out my pen and paper and start jotting stuff down.’ But in reality, it’s not as easy as it sounds. When LO is occupied, I am busy clearing up the mess that she left ten minutes previously. Or I’m getting lunch ready for her and her friends. And as for writing when she is in bed, this has so far been minimal too. After being up at the crack of dawn and having full on days doing activities and keeping a 5 year old occupied, by the time bedtime comes around for her, I am shattered. After tidying up and cleaning (again!) and sorting the house for the next day’s activities, sitting in bed with a book is about all I can manage before nodding off.

So, I have come to a decision.

Instead of beating myself up over not getting as much writing done, or not starting those edits, I am taking a writing ‘holiday’. I am going to embrace the summer holidays with LO and try to get just a little bit of writing done as often as I can and come September, it’s knuckle down time.

And my plans for September?

I want to start editing Head over Heart. After some fantastic feedback, I am excited to be getting into some serious editing with my first novel and making some exciting changes.

I am also looking to start an editing course. After attending the RNA conference recently, I was able to immerse myself completely within the writing industry for three whole days and it has cemented my desire to explore the editing world. I have been looking at copy editing and proof reading courses and I am very excited about hopefully enrolling soon and beginning my learning journey to becoming an editor.

I will, of course, keep you all updated.

Have a great six weeks – see you on the other side!

Lucie x

19 thoughts on “Writing and the Summer Holidays.

  1. OMG, Lucie: I hear you loud and clear! With you every step of the way. Ho hum! Have been getting up at six to get a couple of hours in. I can just about manage to keep up with proper writing duties (am doing final proofs this week for upcoming release, so pressure is on and deadline is real). But social networking–apart from a very quick dip into Twitter and on your blog just now–nah, forget it. I’m gonna have to be pretty silent because there just isn’t enough time. Summer ‘holidays’, what a misnomer for author mummies! Good for you on taking a proper break, have fun and we’ll see you on the other side…. XXX

    • Hi Nicky,

      It’s nice to hear from other mum’s out there who are having the same daily dilemma’s. I feel so guilty for not indulging in my character’s lives but it’s just not happening. I’m sure they will understand. They know not to get stroppy with me anyway, otherwise I’ll change their fate! 🙂

      Hope the rest of the proofing goes OK, I’m sure you are doing a fab job!

      Love Lucie xx

  2. HI Lucie, an excellent decision for two reasons. Beating yourself up about lost writing time is far too negative for your sanity and this year more than ever, as my second son makes his way into secondary school, I have realised just how quickly the years and memory-making holidays pass! Have fun with LO, see you soon xxx

    • Hi Claire,

      What a lovely post, thank you! As a Mum you can’t help but feel guilty when you write during the school holidays – even doing a blog post as LO reads a magazine!

      Thank you for your lovely words. I hope you enjoy the holidays with your boys.

      Love Lucie xx

  3. I am still struggling with this mindset. I had planned to do so much this summer! I’ve had a blessed two weeks without the children – but some professional commitments started to kick in. I am still planning to edit my novel, but it will get tricky over the next 5 weeks… and then the whole of September is booked solid with professional engagements. My natural tendency is to wake up at night and start fretting over it (and writing… mostly nonsense, with that level of exhaustion) and then so wear myself out. But, like you, I have to remember it is a holiday and that it will probably recharge my batteries on some level or another.

    • Hi marina,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, I agree. It is so easy to spend – or waste – time worrying about not getting things done. You just have to try and embrace this time and use it to your advantage. I am trying to jot down ideas and comments and just little snippets as and when, and I’ll use them all in September when I get my time back. Just collating little bits of magic to weave into a story when the time comes! 🙂

      I hope you find some time to relax and get some sleep! 🙂

      Love Lucie xx

  4. When I was a wage slave, I had to opposite problem, Lucie. I could only write during the holidays as my time wasn’t taken up with marking, preparation and assessment. Good luck wiith your editing. I have a RNA friend who is a fantastic editor, very insightful and full of good ideas but she doesn’t want to be an editor, she wants to spend her time writing. I understand that. When you’re qualified, I’ll be your first customer. Good luck.

    • Hi Lizzie,

      Thank you for your good luck wishes. I am hoping to try and combine the two things – editing and writing – alongside eachother. Not sure how feasible that is, but I’ll give it a go.

      I’ll wait for your call then! 🙂

      Love Lucie xx

  5. I am the opposite to you, Lucie, because I work in a school, holidays are precious full-on writing time! But that’s because my children are now at the ‘treat this place like a hotel’ stage – which is brilliant because when they were small I got absolutely nothing done at this time of year. I echo what others have said – they’re only little for such a short time, make the most of it! Or, alternatively, embrace the dirt and chaos and give up housework for the six weeks…

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes I can see how this would be a great time for you to catch up on writing. My LO is only 5 so she’s very much at the ‘entertain me every second of every day’ stage. Although she is also at the ‘treat this place like a hotel’ stage! Starting early, I think.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you get lots of writing done this six weeks.

      Love Lucie xx

  6. Good luck, Lucie! Sometimes one of the balls just has to fall. There are only so may hours in the day (and you only have two hands to juggle with!). Looks like you have loads of people here batting in your corner and ready to de-stress with you after the hols. Good luck with those courses! 🙂 xx

    • Hi Sheryl,

      Thank you! Juggling is actually a secret talent of mine 🙂 So I shall continue to practice that skill for the next 5.5 weeks.

      Thanks for the good luck wishes, I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.

      Love Lucie xx

    • Hi Denyse,

      Yes, it seems there are quite a few of us Out There who struggle with this.
      Best of luck with your writing.

      Love Lucie xx

  7. I can understand what you say. I am in the group that suggests you enjoy Lo and let writing drop – when you come back in September you will be renewed. It is difficult as characters have a tendency to speak to us regardless but you can make notes and they never leave us. I wrote a historical novel 10 years ago and I wrote one of the character’s names today and suddenly found her voice again and a new situation and sentences – but she will have to wait…..a while – it is carnival tonight and fireworks. Real living is as important as living with our characters.
    I had lunch with a writer and while we were eating her agent rang and asked whether she was going to meet her deadline – she complained but I was envious (longing to be in that situation) she explained that her family had suffered and she had missed their lives while ‘being famous’ and typing about other people’s lives. Now she was going sailing with her husband – the trouble was they were much older now. It is hard though. Very hard. Life and struggling has always got in the way of my writing.
    Good luck with it all.

    • Hi Daisy,

      Thank you for your comment. I sympathise with your friend, it seems she has tried really hard to fit both in but like you say, something has to give. I am so pleased with the amount of support and encouragement to take a break and enjoy time with LO from everyone – makes me feel less guilty about leaving my characters.
      How fantastic that you have picked up an older character and found a new story for her! What an exciting place to be in. I hope it goes well.

      Best of luck with your writing!

      Love Lucie xx

  8. I feel your pain, Lucie. I was supposed to get my novel sent to the RNA NWS before the holidays, but failed miserably, so am trying to do as much as I can evenings. But I’ve been working overtime, then friends invite me out for drinks… Argh! I’m nearly there, but I will rest easier when it’s sent.

    But they are only little once, and I do enjoy taking them out and doing activities with the kids.

    They did watch a film for me the other day, and I got an hour of editing in. Might try the same later.

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