Blogger: Michelle Ule
Filling in for Janet Grant who is at the International Christian Retailer’s Show in Orlando, Florida.
Summer’s here and if you’re a writer with children, visitors, spouses, or other interruptions, how are you supposed to keep working on your manuscript?
Continue writing your project, of course, but there are other things you could do with your family around to keep your moving toward “the end.”
Six tips for writers in the summer.
1. Plan a research trip
If you travel to a destination to do research on a project, it may be possible to write off your personal transportation costs on your income tax. Check with your tax advisor.
One year, my family visited the Salt Lake City genealogical library as part of my family history gathering (this trip was NOT tax deductible).
I spent eight hours in the library the first day while my husband took our two children to various child-friendly spots around the city. The second day, I spent ten hours in the library (my husband had to drag me out at the close of day. I was babbling, but done), while they went to a water park.
Had I been working on a book, my travel costs to and from would have been part of my writer’s expenses that year.
I’m considering a trip to the Museum of the Confederacy this summer for that very reason.
2. Visit local libraries while college is out
I’ll be headed to my local college next week. School is out which means parking will be available and the librarians will not be busy.
I usually visit the website beforehand for the list of books I want to view and take the list with me.
Since it’s summer, I’ll also be able to consult with a librarian about my project. I’m hoping to enlist some professional help.
Librarians generally are happy to assist you in research, particularly since their most frequently asked questions are: “Where is the bathroom?” and “where are the copy machines?”
I’m sure a question about education during late Victorian England will elicit some interest.
3. Time your writing for when the children are asleep; do social media while they’re awake
The weather is nice. Wear out the kids outside during the day; write while they sleep.
When they’re awake and occupied, keep an eye on them while attending to your social media.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to think of a tweet in between making a peanut butter sandwich and telling your six year-old to put on sunscreen.
4. Read writing books–particularly if you have kids in summer school
If you’ve got kids needing to learn this summer, why not join them by reading writing books?
You can find them in the 808 section of the library (you DO take your kids to the library during the summer, don’t you?), or purchase some.
If your child complains about having to do homework, sit beside them with homework of your own!
Take notes–reviewing ways to write better can only improve your work.
5. Read popular novels to get a feel for the market–particularly in your genre.
I spent an excellent summer years ago reading all the Newberry prize-winning books.
I read books that had never appealed to me before. Some made me weep with their beauty and I understood why they won the prize for the best children’s book of their particular year.
Some were absurd.
It was a rich experience, however, and I shared some of those books–reading aloud–with my children.
You might consider reading some of the best selling books this summer–The Girl on the Train, for example (which I haven’t read) to analyze why this particular book is a best seller.
Or even my current release: The 12 Brides of Summer Collection #1. 🙂
6. Lean how to organize social media so you can take a vacation.
I wrote an entire post on my personal blog about how to do this. You can read the post here.
If you write blogs, tweets and even Facebook posts (for a professional page) ahead of time, you can schedule them and take off without a thought.
Taking a vacation, even from your writing, will do everyone in your family a world of good!
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