Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

A “Bite-Sized’ Summer?

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Revisited from last year because it just seems to fit:


School’s out.  Finally.  Summer sure took her time getting here, eh?  She gimped onto the calendar with the alacrity of a crippled snail.  Even so, as every cell of my being opens to the long-lost sun, drinking in a taste of summer, I’m celebrating.  Sort of.

Why?  Well, have you noticed?  Summer is a con artist.

After the ninety-miles-an-hour-with-your-hair-on-fire frenetic pace of the school year, summer cons us into thinking we’re in for a “break.”  “Slow down,” she coos, “kick back.  Rest up.  Wind down.  After all, it’s summer!”

Warm weather whirlwind?

Well, maybe in an alternate universe.  Then how come summer is often as jam-packed and crazy as the rest of the year?  It’s just a different kind of crazy.  Calendar still fill.  Planners book up.  The only difference seems to be the weather and venue – at home or on the beach, desert, mountain peak, park, library, baseball diamonds or pool – other than the school campus.  For a lot of people, particularly families, summer is just another word for “warm weather whirlwind.”

I used to lean into summer with the noblest of intentions: Finish that memoir.  Or two or three.  Send off that manuscript.  Or two.  Or three. Or four.  Polish a dozen “in progress” works.  Draft fifty articles.  Submit that book proposal.  Or three.  Or four.  Crank out 5,000 words a day

That lasts for maybe a week or two, until summer hits full-throttle and that “have so much time now” illusion evaporates into a moist mirage.

Manageable and bite-sized

Someone suggested a summer goal of setting aside two hours a day to write.  Realizing that summer is a charmer, a warm-weather chimera, I just laughed.  And poked along at my own pace: devoting twenty minutes a day to write uninterrupted.  It’s not as impressive as two hours, but it’s manageable.  Realistic.  Bite-sized.

Know what?  I’ve found that if I focus on a bite-sized goal and keep at it, I get it.  Know what else?  Twenty minutes can easily tumble into 40 or 60 or 90 or more.

What bite-sized writing goals have you set for this summer? 

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