The summer is when I get the bulk of my writing done. As a teacher it’s very tempting to sit out by my pool on a daily basis and watch the clouds pass overhead. Or sleep in and behave as if I’m retired. But I keep a very similar schedule as the rest of the year. I’m up early, albeit an hour later–6 am, and at the computer for as long as possible. Usually that’s until I need to leave for work. Over the summer it’s however long the stamina lasts. Some days it’s a couple hours. Others, I’ve got to remind myself to eat.
I love this time and I hate this time. The pressure is truly on because if I don’t establish my next idea, if I don’t solidify a solid premise that I want to spend the next few months with…well, I’ve missed my window. It’s not that I can’t or don’t write well during the school year, it’s just that the time and consideration a new project takes is considerable. The hours I need are now. I cannot be wasteful.
I’ve been fortunate. Most of my seeds have come during June and July. Some as late as August. That’s not coincidence, though. Because as I’m working during the year, I’m also writing shorter pieces, taking notes about what my students are concerned with, overall just paying attention to the landscape I visit every day.
Now, with school finishing next week, I’m off to ALA and then some family time. But I’m already turning my starter stories in my palm, looking for the best. I’m outlining and thinking about hooks and hoping I have the germ of another sweet idea.
It’s time to plant, so that come fall I’ll know that the harvest with be bountiful.
For my other teacher/writers out there, happy sowing.