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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Vacation = Word Count Deprivation

Well, it’s summer break again and my life is in upheaval. No matter how vigorously I plan ahead and schedule my life (I’m an obsessive time manager), summer vacation always throws me into an ocean of unending crazy and all my plans are lost to the undercurrent. Each year, I think, "This summer will be different." It’s not different. This is my story.

I have these three darlings:

They are 12, 9 & 6, respectively (from leader to princess). They are very curious, intelligent and busy young people, which is one of my summer troubles. We're never home unless there's a party and who can write at a party? Why so many parties every summer? Well, besides the nationwide Memorial Day & Fourth of July events, two of the darlings have summer birthdays. And so do I. And so does my husband. Oh, and so do my father-in-law and brother-in-law. It's nuts the amount of cake I consume. 

Party planning, party prep & recovery take a significant chunk of my summer. Don’t even get me started on gift shopping. *hugs Amazon* All that time is time I’m not writing, but deadlines are still waiting. They don't go away because I have to party. Can you believe it? Rude. 

My crew and I hit the ground running with a long and broad list of summer activities as soon as school ends. Guess who takes them, waits for them, picks them up? Many of you are moms. Most of you had a mom. So, you know the answer. Me. I do the chauffeuring. Every day.

This is great news for my To-Be-Read book pile. I do LOTS of reading in the summer. Lots and lots. Writing? Not so much. My normal schedule of writing a chapter a day becomes a chapter or two at most per week, sometimes less. Depends on vacations and who drops by for unannounced visits. It’s nuts the amount of people-based distractions a person can have. I'm enough of a distraction to myself without an army of willing contributors. 

And what was I saying about moms? My mom comes to stay with me for two weeks every summer. I know I’m not promised another summer with her, so I don’t write. I enjoy her. 

Are you seeing a pattern?

When am I supposed to write??? *cries*

I’m not an established author. I can’t take the summer off. I have to figure it out. Sleep less. Caffeinate more. I have to keep going. Keep producing. And it’s not easy. I don’t sleep. I don’t exercise. I run kids around town. Break up nonsense fights and read in the car while I wait for tennis, swim, golf...insert life experience for children here... lessons to end. Believe it or not, I'm happy to do it and thrilled to see them growing into amazing, interesting young people, so the writing waits. 

I’m thankful for these summers together. I am. And I’m thankful for a group of readers and writers who know what I’m saying, especially those who have survived these whirlwind child rearing years and who encourage me to keep my head up. The time will be gone too soon.

Balancing kids and career is always a near magic trick, possibly a full fledged illusion, but summers are a special sort of panic for me and it shows because my post is about five hours late today. (But it's here now!)



I guess what’s most important is that my kids see me putting them first BUT also not giving up on my dream. I'm important too, and so are my goals. It's true. *reminds self* I hope all your summers are off to a healthy, happy start and are filled with precious memories and fun stories to cherish for years to come. I know mine are, even if I'm a little grayer for it, and sleep deprived, and low on word count, 

Well, I’m off to take kids to Kids’ College. Time to silence my phone and lock the door. This is my moment of quiet time and I will make the absolute most of it. 

Have a great summer, you guys!!!


Rita said...

GOOD FOR YOU! Be happy and enjoy your summer.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Love this! And I can SO relate, except that my reading time hasn't really increased. Boo. In fact, I was composing my post for Monday and it was going to be about being a zookeeper...because that's basically my summer job. ;)

jean harrington said...

Wow, your post proves your busyness, Julie Ann. Think September!

Clare London said...

What great pics, especially your darlings - and multiple Sheldons *lol* - and I feel for you. My brood are grown up now but still seem to be coming and going at all times, distracting the flow. I've taken to writing outside the house now, whether it's in the garden under a gazebo, or at the local pub! :)

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Thanks for all the comments, camaraderie and encouragement, you guys! Sorry it took me an entire day to get back here! LOL *head desk*

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