School hols & the writing parent: Day 1

Day One of Holidays: Teepees. Camps, Bows and Arrows

First day of holidays which in our case last eight weeks until about the 30th of August, so maybe less of the Head above Water and more of the glug, glug, going under.

With no firm plans so far and no summer camps booked as yet, these weeks are as yet an uncharted opportunity for adventure, play, possibility, chaos and insanity.

If you want some really great ideas about how to occupy your children, please visit the wonderful blog of my latest mother writer interviewee Chris Mosler. She outlines regular activities.  This morning I wrote a list in chalk on the children’s easel

  • Sports school (outside activities)
  • Outings
  • Paintings
  • Tin Whistle
  • Lego
  • Colouring and Reading
  • Board games (remember those!)

So that’s the mother bit then. On the writing side I have a list too:

  • Finish the first draft of my novel.
  • Finish a short story in the next couple of weeks.
  • Sub some stories.
  • Take a look at my first short story collection, substitute some stories and get ready for subbing.
  • Continue to write stories for new flash collection
  • Put through beta edits on my Housewife witha Half-Life comedy space adventure
  • Query Housewife with a Half-Life
  • Finish a book review
  • Do many more drafts on my novel in progress.
  • Regular blogposts especially for my guest blog on writing.ie
  • Lie down

In September I will be in the privileged position of having all the four children out of the house for a few hours a day as the youngest will start preschool but until then I will continue to juggle the reality of having four kids around for most of the hours of the day while doing some work on the above list.  What are the ways I hope to go about this without taking my eye off the kids for too long? (One of my children has been diagnosed with Asperger’s and needs careful management.)

  • 5am starts (I am a lark) for about 2 hrs
  • Weekend writing/some holiday time writing when the other half is around but still incorporating early start for peaceful writing
  • Blog posts/notes/editing during the day when the kids are occupied
  • Make it up as I go along

I will post here week by week to report on the reality of trying to write/create when the kids are around most of the time. If you are a writing parent, what kind of strategies will you be employing as the holiday period begins?

And as you can see from the photos, we did more today than the things that were on our list. We built teepees and made bows and arrows. We had ten kids here making rival camps, dressing up and having face paints, and having adventures. This morning I couldn’t drag myself out of bed for the 5am writing slot.  So writing nil but holiday mum ten points! Oh and I forgot about the mop hockey in the morning. (After washing the floor) Another ten points!

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9 comments

  1. Ha ha! I heartily concur with your strategies. I have an adult son with autism and SLD who doesn’t care to leave the house when on his hols. We’ve made this a virtue and I fit in my writing around him. Surprising how much can get done.

    Happy writing and holidays.

  2. I love this beautifully constructed plan. Mine finish a bit later on for 6.5 weeks and I am trying to get everything writing-wise done before then as I know how hopeless it will be during the holiday. I’ll try to concentrate on little flashes and marketing for my book during the summer holidays as I can easily fit writing a letter etc in between the parental side of things.

    Looking forward to NaNoWriMo already for a healthy bit of wordage.

    Good luck. 8 weeks. Aaaaargggggggggh!

  3. I am in the same boat, Alison. I have abandoned any serious writing projects. I have decided to bring notebook (of the old fashioned paper variety) and pen in my bag everywhere with me and just jot down ideas if I get them.
    My eldest has been home since June (secondary) so we are being creative about occupying time. Good luck with your summer, enjoy!!

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