By Ronda Simmons
It’s been decades since I was a student, yet when the weather warms up, and the grass is green, I have difficulty focusing. I’m always looking for a hammock somewhere to enjoy a good read.
My writing goals tend to suffer, and I would be willing to bet I’m not alone.
To help me and all of us boost our creativity this summer, I have compiled a list of productivity tips.
Summer Writing Productivity Tips
- Write every day, unless you’re at the beach or it’s raining, or you don’t feel like it, then you get the day off.
- Turn off social media unless something big is happening for Taylor Swift or Kanye, and you’ve got to keep up. Limit yourself to only one hour watching TikTok videos.
- Get an accountability partner. Meet frequently to discuss how you can’t get anything done because the weather is too hot, too cold, or perfect.
- Set writing goals. Enjoy crossing them off your list, not because you actually achieved them but because you changed your mind.
- Daydream about what you will wear when you accept your Oscar for best original screenplay.
- Worry that you’re not in good enough shape to wear that.
- Go for a run because that Vera Wang off-shoulder gown is not going to wear itself.
- Decide your work in progress is too stupid. Start over, but this time with a better-looking protagonist.
- Decide you hate your new perfect protagonist and go back to the old one.
- Take a notebook everywhere you go so you are prepared when inspiration hits.
- Move to a smaller notebook because inspiration doesn’t hit like she used to.
Maybe some kind of ritual will help you get in the groove. I’ve tried many, and here is the one that works for me.
Ronda’s Pre-Writing Routine
- check email
- read online news headlines
- limit my reading to only three or five news articles
- play one round of Jigzone
- play a second round of Jigzone
- realize coffee has gotten cold
- go into the kitchen to reheat coffee
- notice that the dishwasher needs to be emptied
- empty dishwasher
- open the refrigerator and stare at contents for 30 seconds
- go back to the office
- light candle
- recite power mantra
- notice dust on the keyboard
- clean keyboard
- rearrange pens by order of size
- re-rearrange pens by color
- take snack break
Or Maybe Join Camp NaNoWriMo
Camp NaNoWriMo is NaNoWriMo’s cooler, kinder younger sibling. Unlike the November challenge, where you must write a 50,000-word novel, Camp NaNo allows you to set your own writing goals. Work on any writing project you want. It doesn’t have to be a novel, and you don’t have to track word count unless that works for you.
It’s the perfect solution for summer writers like me and perhaps you, who need some flexibility during the summertime.
There are forums, writing groups, camp counselors, and all kinds of resources to help you actually get something done this summer. Once you’ve achieved your Camp NaNo writing goals, you get a certificate and other winner goodies.
I have never been successful at NaNoWriMo because word goals put me into brain lock, but I’m going to give Camp NaNo a try. Who’s with me?