School’s Out for Summer!

No, this isn't me. I like to go a little heavier on the eyeliner.

I am a creature of habit.   If we go to a restaurant, I usually order the same thing.  I park in the same parking spots.  I order the same coffee.  And I wear the same pair of socks every day (just kidding).

So it’s really no wonder that summer has me feeling slightly anxious. I’m starting to feel a little grumpy because I’m not as far along with my WIP as I’d like to be.  I’m starting to worry about each day that goes by that I haven’t worked on it.  I’m scared that I won’t get it done by the deadline I’ve set for myself–especially since I know there are some huge gaping holes in the storyline and it all just needs major, major work.

See, here’s the thing.  I’m a morning writer.  I wake up, get the kids to school, head to my local coffee shop and write.  I don’t know what happens when I enter that shop at 8:30 each morning, but my brain just clicks and is ready for writing.  I’ve programmed myself to work this way.  And it’s been great.  Except, now my kids are on summer vacation.  Which means my usual routine is seriously disrupted.  Instead, I look like I just rolled out of bed for the better part of the morning while they jump around on the sugar rush of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I sip my instant, yes instant, coffee. Then it’s time for us all to do something fun because, you know, they’re awesome and I love them and besides, they claim staying home is booooorrrrr-innnnnnggggg.  Which means…you guessed it—little to no writing.

And now, it’s starting to get to me.  Which is good and bad.  Good because writing is such a routine now, I feel anxious if I don’t get to it.  Bad because writing is such a routine now, I feel anxious if I don’t get to it. Sure, I could write at night seeing as I have time to watch reruns of The Golden Girls.  I mean, I do know every episode by heart (yes, including the pilot where they had a cook named Coco) and even my kids know the words to the theme song.  But…I don’t know, that Sophia just sucks me in and I can’t seem to get off my lazy ass and write.  So I lay there, lying to myself, telling myself, tomorrow, tomorrow, knowing damn well that there’s no way I’ll be able to follow my usual writing schedule tomorrow.  This means that it’s time for my usual summer pep talk.  Time to grab myself by the shoulders, give myself a good shake, and say, “Stop being such a baby!  Quit  ya’ complaining and write already.  I don’t care if you usually write in the morning!  I don’t care if you think you have to have an Americano.  I don’t care if you think there’s some kind of magical spot in this universe that somehow taps into your brain and makes you write!  Stop it!  Stop it! Stop it!  Oh, and another thing, there’s no Santa, no Easter Bunny, and no Tooth Fairy, so get over it!  If you wanna write, then write, damn it!  Get your ass in that seat and write WHENEV-AH! (in case you’re wondering, this dialogue in my head sounds like Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny because when I get mad, my New York accent tends to come back).

Anyway, this little pep talk usually does the trick.  I’ve resolved to make sure I get to my writing, even if it means missing reruns of The Golden Girls (sorry ladies).  Somehow, I gotta make it work.  Which reminds me how that’s usually the way things go for most writers.  Whether it be day jobs, or family, or rejection, or rejection, or rejection, we just have to keep at it somehow and figure out a way to make it work.   So, once I dry these tears (come on, no Santa?  That was harsh.), I’m totally getting back to work.  What about you?  Has summer messed with your writing schedule?

P.S–The Golden Girls theme song is in your head right now, isn’t it?  You’re welcome.

Follow me on Twitter @jetchez

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14 Responses to School’s Out for Summer!

  1. I’m pretty much of the thought that ANY time is a good time for The Golden Girls.

  2. Indigo says:

    Here’s the way I look at it, if you weren’t worrying about writing, then you would have something to worry about. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. I’m a creature of habit too but I’m still working on creating a consistent writing schedule. I’m sure you’ll make it work! Good luck with your WIP this summer. 🙂

  4. Love this post and your Stern Talking To Yourself. I do similar things (though I wimped out and we’re doing summer day-care for my 6-yr-old b/c I MUST HAVE MY ROUTINE!!!!) My routine is to write every afternoon from 1-5. Sometimes I feel old and boring b/c I’m so damned dependable. Come 1-5, I WILL be in my Coffee Shop Of Choice, banging away at the keys. But then I think, eh, come next year there will be a book in ACTUAL bookstores w/ my name on it! Huzzah! this is what I also remind myself in my own self-pep-talks 😉

    • Hi Heather!
      Oh man, though, do I miss the routine! I’m all kinds of outta whack! Today, for example, I don’t know if the decision to basically start all over again with this WIP is the logical and sensible solution to something that just doesn’t seem to be working, or if it’s simply because I’m not in my magical spot working at my magical time with my magical drink. In any case, yeah, I think I’m basically looking at a full rewrite. Sucky, sucky, sucky. Suck-eeee!

      It’s been a rough day.

      But you’re right, just gotta keep banging away at the keys and keep thinking of next year! Huzzah, sistah!

  5. I can definitely relate. My writing time is all over the place right now — in small increments whenever I can fit it in. We *are* having fun, though. That counts for something, right? Happy summer!

    (Love your new profile pic!)

  6. Thanks so much, Amanda! Happy summer to you too.

  7. Tara Maya says:

    Loved the Golden Girls. 🙂

  8. Jenny- I swear your blog post just pretty much summed up my summer for me. I’m sleeping in late while my kids run around like crazy people, staying up waaay too late because I’ve just discovered the joys of streaming from netflix, and yeah, basically, writing happens when I can make it. No routine here. I like being with my kids, but a part of me can’t wait until the fall when I can go back to my hollowed routine and feel like my life is under control.
    Great post girlfriend!

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