Monday, May 25, 2015

Setting Summer Goals

by Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie writes young adult contemporary novels and is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com. Her novels include The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Revell) and the Ellie Sweet books (Birch House Press). You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website including the free novella, Throwing Stones.

Summer vacation arrived last Friday in the Morrill house.

Connor - who hates having his picture taken - absolutely loves photobombing.
In addition to the joys of getting to sleep in a bit and enjoy relaxed time with my kids, this also means my beautiful work structure of writing during the days they're both in school has completely vanished. Long stretches of having the house to myself and getting lost in the 1920s? All but gone.

But if I look for them, there will be snippets of time that are mine for the taking. Times when grandparents want to have the kids over for the afternoon or when they're cuddled on the couch watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates. If I have the eyes to see it, I can snatch those moments up for a vacation to Chicago in 1926.

Don't get me wrong, I also plan to have a lot of fun with my kids, especially since this is my last summer with just the two of them. With Baby #3 due to arrive in October, I know this summer is a unique opportunity to enjoy my two big kids, and I don't want to miss out on that.

So as I look ahead to summer, this quote from Muse keeps turning over in my head:



"Don't waste your time or time will waste you." - "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse.

When I come out on the other side of this summer, I want to be able to say two things:

1. I finished the first draft of my book.
2. I was intentional about how I spent my time with my kids, and we had a blast.

What about you? Do you have goals for the summer? Be thinking, because we're planning a summer challenge that'll kick off on June 8th!

Also, we are switching to our summer schedule of posting just on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays only. This will last until after Labor Day weekend.

42 comments:

  1. Haven't thought much about it, but I at least know these:

    -Make a decision about whether I'm going to restart Transform

    -Write 20K for Camp NaNo

    -Start planning my first 50K NaNoWriMo

    -Write at least five chapters of Transform

    -Write blog posts more often

    -Do the TCWT blog chain every month

    -Keep on writing daily

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    1. Looks like it.....factor in summer camp, a week of staycation, and a week-long trip, and my summer is pretty much nuts.

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  2. Summer vacation already?! I've at least one more month to go! Lucky you over there in the States :)

    As for my writing goals, I started a new first draft some weeks ago and I hope I'll have written a lot of it at the end of my holidays. Besides, I'll maybe start considering publishing a bit more seriously. Anyway, I hope to do some serious writing, that's kind of a summary of my plans :)

    arendedewit.blogspot.com

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    1. It's funny how different all the breaks are! We get out earlier than a lot of U.S. schools.

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    2. Yeah, I still have three more weeks to go, but at least we start school a bit later--The last few days of August, typically, and I'm in the U.S. I think my slightly-later break is a state weather thing.

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    3. I'm homeschooled, so while I'll get a break, I'll do some half-day schoolwork for a few weeks in July/August. We take nearly a month at Christmas, so we do more in summer to compensate. What with summer camp and vacation, it can be tough, but it's worth it for getting from mid-December through around January 5 off.

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  3. Not quite summer vacation yet here, but I plan to finally finish my current WIP after four months of work and get a head start on editing. It would be great to finish the edits, but as this is my first major edit ever, I don't want to push too far ahead. Thankfully I'll have the GoTeenWriters blog and book in hand for support. :)

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    1. Those first edits can be daunting so it's wise to have patience with yourself!

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  4. Ay! Summer! I'm going to a summer school for 6 weeks, which is amazing, but it does cut into my writing time-- a lot. Still, like you, I'm trying to carve out portions of my day that are just for writing! : )

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  5. I can't wait for summer! I know it's still going to be busy, but it will be a different kind of busy than during the school year, so I'm really looking forward to that. I hope to finish the current draft of my WIP, write the first draft of a novella and research for a historical fiction book that will take place during WWII.

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  6. Conner is such a cutie! Goals are an amazing thing. Still thinking about what I want to focus on this summer, but will definitely be making my "to do" lists soon!

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  7. Congratulations on Baby #3, Stephanie! I hope you have a wonderful, productive, enjoyable summer! :)

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  8. OOH A CHALLENGE! Looking forward to it!

    I would like to finish editing my WIP this summer and possibly start a new one.

    Congratulations on Baby #3!

    ~Katie Nichols

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    1. Good goals, Katie! And thank you :) We're excited.

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  9. So far my summer goals have, ah, nothing to do with writing. They are:

    1. Finish violin book #4.
    2. Finish Algebra 2.

    I'm also going to be a bit busy with something my family is doing this summer--Bible Bee, which should be interesting. And we'll be gone for two weeks, VBS for one week, and I'm going on my first mission trip at the end of July for another weekish. It'll be interesting trying to find time for writing in there, but I'll manage somehow. :)

    I'm thinking about taking a break from novel-writing and editing for a while and working on short stories one after another. Because that's something I really need work on, ha ha.

    Also, I've been meaning to say this since the last newsletter, and now I have a chance too--CONGRATULATIONS on the new baby! Do you know if it's a boy or girl yet? :)

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    1. Have fun on your first missions trip! I have always wanted to go on one:)

      God bless!

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    2. Aww, thanks! I live in Florida, so crossing the country to Washington state is kind of a long way even inside the country. :)

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    3. You have a busy summer ahead of you, Amanda!

      We don't know yet. We have a sonogram next week, but we're choosing to be surprised with this one.

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    4. Wonderful, Amanda. One of my goals is finish Violin Book #3, haha. God willing, I shall be finishing Algebra II this year. I can't wait for the hols. I want to edit stories, and languish in the parlour with my wights and characters, and all those sort of thing--but most of all, I think, I want to feel ALIVE again. This year for a great portion I have felt (and feel) like little more than some toiling, creaking contraption, wound with a rusty crank. I want to go out and feel less like forty and feel more like fourteen (my age). I want to play until my face is shiny and a "rose blooms in either cheek." I want to sing till my throat closes, to laugh myself breathless. I want to run and dance and cartwheel till the world spins faster than I do, and does not stop even after I do. I want to be a child again. I want to LIVE.

      Although perhaps my prattling makes no sense, so I should stop. I wish you all merry, derry, jolly holis, everyone!

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  10. Congratulations on your new baby!!! What an exciting time!

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    1. It is, Emma! And a bit nerve-wracking too :)

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  11. It's winter here, so...winter goals, I guess? I want to finish the third draft of my WIP and get it out to betas. And then I can finally, finally start revising a first draft I've got waiting for me.

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    1. Ha! Yes, winter goals work great as well :)

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  12. Can't wait to see the challenge!

    Some of my goals this summer are too:

    1. Finish my final draft of my current WIP
    2. Begin planning for Nano in November
    3. Finish swim team strong

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  13. I'm hoping to have my first draft finished by the end of June and finish another writing project I started by fall.

    I'm also hoping to take a trip. I don't know where yet. I just know I want to do it!

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    1. Those sound like great goals. Especially the trip :)

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  14. I'm late... :P I wasn't expecting a post on Memorial Day.

    My two goals for the summer are 1) to begin querying Illusion and 2) to write the first draft of Suspicions. I can't wait to see the summer challenge! Too bad I'll be out of town that week. :(

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    1. Nice and specific, Linea!

      And it won't be too late to join when you get back, so no worries :)

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  15. Congrats on baby #3!!!
    My writing goals this summer are:

    Write a new post on my blog at least three times a week. (If anyone wants to check it out: http://www.teendreamingwithhereyesopen.blogspot.com


    Write at least one hundred words for my novel a day.

    Keep my journal with me at all times.

    Read at least 30 minutes a day.

    Complete camp nanowrimo

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    1. I posted the wrong link. Here is my blog: http://teendreamingwithhereyesopen.blogspot.com/
      Also i forgot to mention that it is a writers blog for teens:)

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    2. Thank you, Megan!

      I like those goals a lot. Very specific and manageable, but also challenging.

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  16. Congratulations on the new baby, Stephanie!! Your family must be super excited. :)

    I'm heading off to college in the fall, so my summer will mostly be spent preparing for that. But for writing, I plan to do a lot of worldbuilding for my fantasy world, work on edits for one novel, and maybe even sketch out plans for a new one. But we'll see if I have time. :)

    I will also be attending the OYAN Summer Workshop (so excited to see you and Jill!!), which I'm really, really looking forward to. It will be my first writing conference, and I'm hoping to learn a lot!

    A summer challenge? Can't wait! Congrats again!!

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    1. Yes, McKenna and Connor are crazy excited. That part has been a lot of fun :) I think I'll like having two big kids to help out when he/she is born.

      YAY - so glad I'll get to see you in June!

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  17. Yay! Challenges! I just hope I can take part in most of it, since I will be leaving the country like 6 days later.....

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    1. It'll be a very flexible challenge, so I think you will :)

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