During my 2018 summer trip to Florida, I photographed shorebirds at Busch Gardens chasing another bird holding a bun, making it so the bird with the prize couldn’t stop to have a snack. I turned my observation into a poem, taking advantage of summer fun to get in some writing time.
By Shelley Widhalm
With summer a few weeks in, how do you keep up the writing pace when fun beckons?
Writing and blogging seem to be the kind of practices that if set aside lose momentum. Coming back to the project or a regular posting schedule takes review and discipline, just like setting aside a book and forgetting some of the intricacies of the plot and character.
For writers, bloggers and those who need to post a weekly or monthly blog or article, can the serious work of writing be included in busy summer plans?
Try small chunks so that it doesn’t feel like work. Plan a regular time for writing, a little at a time, or write ahead and schedule the blog online, or turn in the article early before deadline. And then don’t open the laptop or notebook unless there is free time or you feel inspired or motivated to write, so that it is not an obligation.
Think of it as quick and dirty writing: get in, do the work of fast content and return to the fun. The result is a mini-moment of work with a reward of having achieved something.
Methods for Quick Writing
Here are a few tips for quick and dirty, but effective writing.
First off, commit to writing while waiting or between the moments of work, errands and summer plans.
- Schedule an hour or two for writing every other day or every three days. Even 15 minutes will suffice. It will add up over time, but if you don’t write, then there will be nothing but the desire to do so.
- Do the writing in the morning by getting up extra early (or just before going to bed) and treat yourself to the rest of the fun summer schedule.
- Acknowledge the accomplishment, such as by tracking it on a spreadsheet or a check-off list.
- Break up writing into smaller tasks. Write for a few minutes and then set it aside to make it feel like less work. Come back to it later.
What I Do for Quick Writing
For me, writing after engaging in professional writing and editing during the workday requires discipline, so I set up a schedule in my planner and mark on my spreadsheet the number of hours I achieve writing. I have a project deadline and a weekly goal of a certain word count or page count, depending on if I’m in the writing or the editing stage of my project.
And then I sit down and write, aiming for an hour but if it’s less or more, I’m fine with it. The important thing is that I write.
Another alternative is to hire a writer or blogger to do the work, freeing up your schedule for vacations, fairs and festivals, and summer fun. The writing probably won’t be quick but will be careful, polished, clean and concise.