Monday, June 4, 2012

Fighting for the Computer

...or 5 Tips to Help You Survive Summer Break

Full discloser, I only have one child in school right now. But that child is a seven year old boy, so survive isn't hyperbole.

We are a week into my son's summer break, and in that week, I've written exactly... um how many words are in this blog post?

After a shaky start, I've discovered a few tips, which I hope and pray get me a few uninterrupted time on my computer, before my son kicks me off to play on Disney XD.

Don't try to do everything while writing.

1. Schedule time for yourself.

And let your children see it. Write down when mom's computer time is on something semi-permanent, and refer to it often. 

Don't give up that time. Treat it as sacred, and your children will respect it. In theory anyway. Also, schedule that time for during nap time or after bed time.

 That beautiful brilliant time of the day. 

Isn't that why you write anyway?

2. Schedule time for your kids.

One of the things I learned doing Nanowrimo, is that my children will ignore me, IF I fill their need for attention before I start writing. 15 minutes of Hide and Go Seek, followed by five minutes of tickle time, and reading/cuddling will buy me a full hour of my daughter happily playing with her dollhouse.

 Kids need attention, and if you don't give it to them before, they will demand it during, and that is their right. 

Don't miss out on your kids summer by focusing only on yourself and your fictional world. This one's more important.

This will only happen if you let your kids be bored.

3. Dealing with a case of the "I'm boreds."

Being bored is a gift. Give this gift to your children.

Every single on of my novels/story ideas have come from me entertaining myself when nothing else is happening. Boredom is food for creativity.

 If kids are constantly being entertained by T.V., video games, etc. then they don't get a chance to be creative type people. When my kids say I'm bored, I refer them to the 'I'm Bored' jar, a glass jar with little strips of paper inside that have chores written on them. 

Works for me.

4. Take what they love to do, and reserve it for when you're doing what you love to do.

My son loves video games. We have a standing rule that he can't play, unless Mom has Word open. This is a brilliant beautiful rule that I like to break. Don't be like me. Be consistent. And remember that consistency can start today.

By the way, this is not my son, but it might as well be.

5. Don't waste your own time.

Summer means pool parties, and water fights. Summer means cleaning up Popsicle drips, and playing tag. Summer means having other people's children in your home. 

It's the best time of the year, but also it means there's not as much time for writing, or tooling around on Pintrest or facebook. 

When you get writing time, don't waste it, but don't sacrifice the summer so you can live in a different world. 

This one's pretty darn perfect.


  1. This is great advice. I love the 'I'm bored' jar idea, and I definitely second the idea of taking time for family first - man those kids grow up fast!

    This school year I've been getting up at 5:30am to get the kids off to early classes (they're older). My plan for summer is to keep my early schedule and let them sleep in. Hopefully I'll get a few hours in w. no distractions.

  2. I'm borrowing the "I'm Bored" jar. I'm also adopting the "you can play video games when Mom has Word open" idea. Brilliant!

  3. My oldest is seven too. :) Just finishing first grade.

    This advice is gold, especially the "bored jar" and the no one can play video games unless word is open. Pure brilliance, no wonder you get so much writing and reading done. :)

  4. Excellent advice. And I need it! I love summer with the kids but get so tired of hearing how bored they are!

  5. I've still got one more week before the kids are home and I'm so grateful for this advice. As much as I look forward to summer, it's hard to get into a pleasant routine that works for everyone. Awesome advice, Sheena.


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