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5 Mistakes Writers Make in the Summer

5 Mistakes Writers Make In The Summer By Jill Kemerer

As the seasons change, our writing habits change, too. It’s human nature. We’re not robots! Plus, where I live, the short, frozen days of winter stretch into long days full of sunshine and heat. I want to be out in all that sun!

Back in April it seemed reasonable to set difficult goals for June, July and August. But I’ve got a dozen years of writing under my belt, and I wasn’t falling for my overly-optimistic silliness this time. You see, I’ve made my share of mistakes planning out my summer writing schedule, and I’ve learned from them.

5 Mistakes Writers Make in the Summer

  1. Overestimating what can reasonably be accomplished in three short months.
  2. Neglecting the work-in-progress as seasonal delights beckon.
  3. Forgetting to factor in vacation time when setting goals.
  4. Thinking of writing as optional instead of essential.
  5. Trying to maintain the same writing schedule as the rest of the year.

Let’s look at these more in depth.

Overestimating what can reasonably be accomplished in three short months.

While June through August technically has thirteen weeks, those thirteen weeks are not equal to the ones in the fall, winter or spring. Yes, technically the hours add up the same, but we all know summer is different. You’ll have weddings and graduation parties to attend. Weekend adventures and farmer’s markets will distract you. Maybe you’ll get away for a vacation or two. Then there will be family time. An outing to pick blueberries. You might have children at home. Whatever your situation, summer brings wonderful things we SHOULD enjoy. So go ahead, set some goals, but don’t overestimate what you can get done.

Neglecting the work-in-progress as seasonal delights beckon.

Unless you’re deliberately taking time off–a week, a month, or the entire summer–you’ll want to continue working on your book. Be careful not to let day after day go by without working on your project at all. You’ll be left with a nagging sense of guilt and you won’t want to get back into it. Even if you snatch fifteen minutes here and thirty minutes there, you’ll be better off than neglecting it completely.

Forgetting to factor vacation time when setting goals.

I’m guilty of this every year! That’s why I keep my phone’s calendar and my day planner handy when I’m sketching out each month’s goals. I often allot extra vacation time each month on the off-chance something fun comes up I won’t want to miss. To do this, I increase my daily goals (higher word count when writing, higher page count when revising). This helps me to stay on track with my projects and enjoy the summer.

Thinking of writing as optional instead of essential.

Not everyone can or should write during the summer. But if you’re reading this post, you’re probably working on a book right now. In that case, ask yourself how you’ll feel if you have very little to show for your writing when September rolls around. If you go into each day believing writing is essential, you’ll be amazed at what you get done by the end of summer. But if it’s another “optional” item on your daily to-do list, you’ll be disappointed in the fall.

Trying to maintain the same writing schedule as the rest of the year.

From September through May, I LOVE my block schedule. It works for me. It makes sense. And it allows me to work on multiple projects every day while putting the most effort into my top priority.

But then summer comes around, and in the morning, I want to enjoy my coffee and watch the birds for a while. By late afternoon, I’m ready to stretch out on a lounge chair and soak in the rays. I have no desire to work on multiple projects throughout the week. I want to focus on the most important one and forget all the others.

So that’s what I do.

I purposely shorten my days to work fewer hours in the summer. This allows me to truly enjoy all that summer offers and still meet my deadlines. Then in the fall, I get excited to resume my more hard-core schedule. It’s nice to have a break from it for three months!

What mistakes do you make in the summer? What did I miss?

Have a terrific day!

Let’s Set Goals {July 2020}

Let's Set Goals July 2020

I’m big on setting monthly goals. By listing them and breaking them down into manageable chunks, I accomplish more than I think possible. My process is to set monthly goals, then at the beginning of each week, I create daily goals that will work within my current schedule.

Each month I share how I did the previous month as well as my new goals. Let’s get to it!

How Did I Do? June 2020 Goals

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Cover Reveal! The Cowboy’s Christmas Blessings

I’m super excited to share my new cover with you! This is the third book in my Wyoming Sweethearts series, and it releases late September.

Here it is!

The Cowboy's Christmas Blessings - Wyoming Sweethearts Book 3

Will welcoming them for Christmas have him wishing for more?

Judd Wilson lives a solitary life…until he learns Nicole Taylor and her infant triplets need somewhere to stay. The cabin on his ranch is the perfect solution, but now his quiet Christmas alone feels a lot more crowded. Recently widowed, Nicole questions her swiftly developing feelings for Judd, even if the older man is wonderful with her babies. Is she ready to take that leap again?

This story features the sweetest triplet babies! I loved writing it. And Christmas books are always special to me. I can’t wait until it releases!

Enjoy your day!

Let’s Set Goals {June 2020}

Let's Set Goals: June 2020 By Jill Kemerer

I’m big on setting monthly goals. By listing them and breaking them down into manageable chunks, I accomplish more than I think possible. My process is to set monthly goals, then at the beginning of each week, I create daily goals that will work within my current schedule.

Each month I share how I did the previous month as well as my new goals. Let’s get to it!

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Organizing the Writing Life: Digital Files

Organizing The Writing Life: Digital Files By Jill Kemerer

Organizing digital files. You might be asking what’s the big deal? You always find the files you need…eventually.

But what about last month when a blogger asked to interview you and needed the blurb and cover of your latest book? It took a few minutes, but you found them. Then you got another email requesting the covers of all the covers in the series. That’s when things got dicey.

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Organizing the Writing Life: Business

Organizing The Writing Life: Business. Jill Kemerer

It’s been over a decade since I submitted my first proposal to an editor who’d requested it. Back then I wrote in our living room, where I had a small folding chair and a tiny table for a desk. I didn’t care! I was so excited to finally be taking the plunge and sending out my work.

Over the years, everything got more complicated. Between digital drafts, contracts, author copies of my books, income/expense reports and all the other million and one items I need to be able to access easily, there was no way a tiny table was going to cut it. I had to come up with a system.

Thankfully, I adore systems!

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Let’s Set Goals {May 2020}

Let's Set Goals {May 2020}. Setting Goals, Jill Kemerer

I’m big on setting goals. By listing them and breaking them down into manageable chunks, I accomplish more than I think possible. My process is to set monthly goals, then at the beginning of each week, I create daily goals that will work within my current schedule.

Each month I share how I did the previous month as well as my new goals. Let’s get to it!

Read More

Extra Time. No Motivation

Extra Time. No Motivation By Jill Kemerer

The lockdown continues. I have a deadline soon, and I’ve continued to work on my book every weekday. When it’s time to make dinner, I’m relieved to not have to be creative. But thenevening looms, and a whole different set of problems arises.

You see, I’m a lockdown failure.

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Spring Thoughts

Spring Thoughts By Jill Kemerer

As I write this, I’m sitting on the couch with a blanket over my legs. My mini-doxie, Sophie, is on my lap under the blanket. She’s not happy unless she’s under a blanket, preferably on my lap, and I’m glad. It’s nice having her warm little body next to mine.

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