Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

Warm Weather Whirlwind?

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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, spritzing myths into gullible ears like mist in a hothouse.

Examples? 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?

Oh, really?

I don’t know about you, but my summer is usually 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.  Or five. 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.  Bite-sized.  Realistic.

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?  Tell us in the comments section.

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