Soon my daughter will be out of school, followed by my husband, and then…well, I don’t get “out of school” exactly, but I will have a couple of months off from teaching and I look forward to spending more time with my family, taking a couple of trips to visit extended family, and just generally chilling out more than usual.
This is something I haven’t really done since 2005. In 2005, I was preparing to pitch Writer Mama at the August Willamette Writers Conference. In summer 2006, my deadline for Writer Mama was still pending. In summer 2007, I was working on pitching Get Known, and my final deadlines were at the end of summer 2008.
So, with the exception of a long family road trip that we took in summer 2006, I haven’t really taken any extended R&R during summer in four whole years.
I’ve written before about how creativity needs to take a rest but it bears repeating. When you are in a creative field like we are, and you are juggling raising a career alongside your family, if you don’t take time to rest, relax, and reflect, you’ll run the risk of burning out, or worse, making poor choices.
I feel like I’ve made sound choices so far but I’m starting to see some signs of wear and tear. For one thing, I’ve gained a bunch of weight and I don’t like being heavy. For another, I’ve developed a couple of nagging health issues that are no doubt also related to too much butt-in-chair time in front of the computer. These are all nothing serious but I see them as “flags”–indicators that need my attention and action.
Now I think you guys know me well enough to know that I’m not really going anywhere. I’m starting something on Twitter called #platformchat, where I will basically “talk platform” with anyone between 11-12 a.m. PT the first Friday of each month. I’d love to chat with you then.
If you are not already “following” me on Twitter, you can follow me at @thewritermama. Follow me and I’ll follow you back.
I’m showing up at a lot of blogs this summer, sharing some of what I’ve learned about platform development and answering questions and participating in discussions with all kinds of writers. I’m really looking forward to this and, if you have an active blog, I hope you will invite me over.
And finally, I always use summer time for future planning and organizing and this summer is no exception. I have an author series to organize, a class schedule to create, three e-zines to plan for, writing deadlines (look for my interview with Cory Doctorow in a fall issue of Writer’s Digest magazine), a busy fall schedule of guest gigs including The Writer’s Digest Business of Publishing Conference and a Should You Generalize Or Specialize Webinar? (which has been moved to October 13th from June 14th).
By the end of summer, I will have a third book idea and be ready to pitch it. It would also be great if I could be thinner, tanner, and healthier (smile). I realize that it’s up to me to make all of these goals happen.
Happy summer, mamas! Thanks for spreading word of all the good hard work The Writer Mama columnists do around here. We always appreciate it!
Make good things happen!
Publisher & Editor, The Writer Mama
P.S. Looking for content to keep your blog lively this summer? Get in touch with Christina, Wendy Burt-Thomas, and Sage Cohen and we’ll send you guest posts for your blog. Just send us an e-mail and we’ll send you back all the stuff to post in your blog on a weekday. Let us know when you are posting and we’ll swing by and answer questions from your readers on our topics.