21 May 2008

Summer Productivity for Writers

School is almost done for child #1, who was in kindergarten this year while I spent it home with child #2, who just celebrated her second birthday. I've seen quite a few posts bemoaning the temporary cessation of ordinary days that summer represents. Not that writers don't love their children, but they also love routines--routines that involve writing time in the schedule.

Unlike many writers deeply involved in summer childcare, I'm looking forward to the season insofar as my personal productivity is concerned. Why?

1) It can hardly be worse. Child #2 is a Klingon -- not the Star Trek variety, but the stick to Mommy like glue variety. When child #1 is present, #2 at least spends part of the time fighting with her instead of me.

2) In the same vein, I won't get as many backaches. Child #2 frequently insists we picnic at lunch on her favorite lap tray. This involves me sitting on the ground throughout the lunch hour, and my spine doesn't appreciate it. Since the lap tray is barely big enough for 2, Child #2 can take my place at the picnic while I sit at the table and eat a sandwich while, perhaps, reading a book or writing.

3) The kids won't be constantly exposed to the germs of other children and thus, I hope, won't be constantly sick. Trips to the doctor, the drugstore, the Kleenex store and the ginger ale and crackers store take up precious time, not to mention holding the heads, hands and puke buckets of sick offspring.

4) I have a much better reason for never cleaning house since 2 kids at home will get it twice as dirty as one kid who's too short to reach some of the books and toys she might otherwise strew across the floor.

5) Bedtime won't be such a crucial and peace-shattering event. Not that we'll let #1 stay up until she passes out to avoid the arguments, but the flexibility we'll have at bedtime will mean sometimes we can let her stay up an extra half hour or sometimes we can go out to dinner, run errands or even do FUN stuff at night. This will increase household harmony, and increased harmony means I'll be more in the mood to write, at least until we have to get them back on the school schedule in August.

6) Increased daylight hours will mean hubby can mow the yard or do other household projects when he gets home from work during the week instead of burning entire week-end days on maintenance.

7) My sister, whose employment hours decrease when school is out of session, will be around more, which means more free babysitting! Ok, it's not free because she hangs it over my head to get me to do what she wants, but babysitting is still good.

What career-related reasons cause you to love or hate the summer season, or is it business as usual?

Jody W.
So much cyberspace, so little time!
www.jodywallace.com * www.elliemarvel.com
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