Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer Good...Summer Better.

Summertime and the living is easy. Right? Didn't I hear that once? I'd like to give that songwriter a piece of my mind.

Summertime is not easy. Not for me as a writer and a mom. I'm seven days away from a self-imposed deadline to get my second novel into the publisher, which means a lot of nit-picking and ulcer-ing over detail. I need focus.

Summertime is the enemy of anyone trying to sit down and focus on a piece of paper or a computer screen while beauty and sunshine play outside. Summertime is kids racing down the stairs with swimsuits and goggles donned, vibrating in anticipation. Summertime is greasy sunblock and bug bites, irritations and sweat. It's car trips and fireworks.

Summertime is for throwing oneself out into nature with wild abandon, yearning to soak in every ounce of warmth before the bitter chill returns. Weekends are taken up with races, mine and my husband's, picnics and events. Summertime is for hiking, and biking, and running in early morning light. It's for reading programs at the library and bug catching, gardens and sun-warmed tomatoes, and paper boats floating on gutter rivers. Summertime is not a good time to focus on literary detail. But its the perfect time for focusing on life.

The best writers I know are ones that are good 'livers'. I don't mean that in the anatomical/organ sense. Experiences make good writing. Bad or good, they bring reality and relatability to your writing. When I said 'paper boats in gutter rivers' most of you knew what I was talking about and had been there in your childhood at least once. The words not only meant something but they took you back to that moment in time, and that's what good writing is about. Getting out into the world, outside in the glaring light and understanding the sticky feeling of a popsicle dripping on your hand and the particular burn of sunblock in your eye that helps you and your writing relate to the rest of the world.

So, even with a deadline for my final edits looming, I close my laptop whenever the children or the birds beckon and get myself out into the world. The minute details of nature and the precious experiences that only happen once, be they joyous or aggravating, fill up my stores for the winter months when I'm stuck inside and trying to draw a picture of the exact cadence of a ladybug or the salty flavor of sun-kissed skin.

What are your plans for summer and your writing?

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

Summer mornings I tend to shut down my computer and respond to any excuse, even the call of a trip to the grocery store or a few boxes that need cutting down to fit in the recycle bin. It's easier for me to stay focused on writing in the wintertime.

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