August 19, 2015

Summertime Writing

By Leeann Betts

Ahh, summertime. The chance to relax. And read. And while away the days.


Maybe you’re a mom with kiddos still at home. Any peace and quiet you’d hoped for has flown out the window. Now you’ve joined with other mothers and are counting down the days until they go back to school so your life can get back to normal. How are you going to carve out writing time in the midst of this chaos?

Or perhaps your kids are older and grown, but there are still so many other fun activities calling your name: vacations, the lawn chair on the deck, friends visiting from out of town, family reunions – whatever the reason, it will always be more important than sitting at the computer and writing. So how do you find that time to stay consistent?

Friends, I have good news and bad news for you. Bad news first: your calendar won’t magically open up and provide the minutes and hours you need to get that writing done.

Good news: not all writing consists of sitting at a desk in your office and tapping away on a computer.

Here are a few ideas to jump-start these summertime writing times:
1.   Take your laptop outdoors. Choose the cool of the morning or evening when the heat and glare won’t be so bad. Sit on your deck, patio, or balcony or lawn and watch the world go on around you for a few minutes. I find this change of scenery helps me notice things I didn’t see before.
2.   Take a research trip. Go to a local museum if your topic is historical. Go to a mall if your heroine loves shoes. Go to a park if your hero is outdoorsy.
3.   Take your laptop to a coffee shop and listen to conversations going on around you. Type them out word for word and keep them for that perfect spot in your manuscript.
4.   Go to your local library and check out some books on travel, art, technology – it doesn’t matter what. Just read something different.
5.   Take your writing on vacation with you. Look around for places to visit along the way that will fit into the project you’re working on. Or the next. Or the next.
6.   Go somewhere just because you’ve always wanted to go there, even if you aren’t currently writing about it and don’t have any idea how it can fit into your writing. You never know what you’ll see or whom you’ll meet.
7.   Try using a pen and paper while sitting on a park bench. There is something about the birds singing and using a pen to write out some ideas, bits of dialogue, or a synopsis of a new book idea that just gets the words flowing.

I’d love to know which of these ideas you decided to try, and what the results were.
Leeann writes contemporary romantic suspense from Denver as the alter-ego of Donna Schlachter. As Donna likes to say, Leeann is cute and perky and all the things she isn’t. Follow Leeann on Facebook or Twitter, or on her blog at Her most recent e-Book, Counting the Days: a 31-day devotional for accountants,bookkeepers, and financial folk is available at

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