writers / writing

#IWSG–What Should I Do This Summer?

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out). The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s insecurity – will I be productive this summer?

Teachers like me–we’re genetically engineered to push all our big goals into summer. Fall/Winter/Spring are for the children we teach, their parents, and the politics of school. Summer is the time we read our stack of books, take an online course, visit friends we haven’t seen for nine months, and make huge progress on our novels.

Needless to say, by the time we make our summer bucket list, there are far too many goals to accomplish. I want to do it differently this year. I want to include only three goals, with the idea that setting my sights on three accomplishments is minimalistic enough, I’ll get them done. But I need your help. What are your top three goals for this summer? Can I hitchhike on them?

If you’re looking for ideas, here are 6 summer writing tips from TAA and here are Janet Reid‘s (an agent with a wonderfully useful blog) ideas on summer writing goals.

More on summer writing:

5 Top Steps to Market Your Books this Summer

10 Digital Tricks to Add Zip to Your Roadtrip

My Summer With Robert Parker

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, adjunct professor of technology in education, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. 


52 thoughts on “#IWSG–What Should I Do This Summer?

  1. Pingback: #IWSG–The Importance of Comments | WordDreams...

  2. Jacqui my summer is too far away to think about but for winter i want to finish most of my illustrations for the picture book. And do a few more lessons on my editing course. Good luck with your goals and enjoy that warm weather.


    • Haha–so what did you DO this past summer? Maybe I can hitchhike off of that!

      How many illustrations are in the book? The one I saw–that must have taken more than a winter to complete.


  3. Like this.

    My goal for the next few months is to finish the Alphabet Soup Stories I’ve started on my blog. I’ve a few other goals, but that’s the one I’m willing to profess. 🙂


  4. That sounds incredibly difficult. Living your life in only, what?, 3 months? Or less. I’d be stressed just thinking about achieving goals in that time period. But you’re used to it so you’re all good.
    My plans this summer are to; finish the polish on Hannah Robbins 2 and then release that. Go on a family holiday and relax, reading as many books as I can in the two week period. And finally, make preparations for making forward momentum with the treatment of my neck once my holiday/vacation is over. ( I doubt you’ll be putting that one on your list!)
    Have a great summer whatever you do!


    • Finishing up your second book is big, Rebecca. I’ll be looking for it. And two weeks to read! I did that on Mother’s Day. There’s no better time than indulging in a book.


  5. I think minimalist goals are a brilliant idea! You’ll have to pick your own, though, my dear – no help from me. I tend to not be the best advice giver.

    Happy end of the school year!!


  6. Hi Jacqui, those are some great goals you’ve set for the summer. I mostly plan to continue writing, keep all my doctor appointments, and enjoy the summer. Thanks for your visit earlier today. Have a great night. Eva, IWSG co-host


    • I’m encouraged to see that most of my readers included ‘enjoy’ in their lists. If I were taking a poll, that would have to be added to my goals. Thanks for dropping by, Lilica!


  7. Were I able to commit to three goals of my choice, they would be these:
    Final revision of all three novels.
    Fifteen queries for my last book, not my favorite but the one I consider most timely and commercial, something an agent might bite.
    Spend as much time as possible with my husband, children, and the beautiful grands who keep my heart and soul healthy.
    You know the reality of my life and the unlikelihood that I’ll be able to complete or even attempt one of these goals, but I can fall asleep with dreams. Maybe they’ll keep the nightmares away.
    Let us know your three!


  8. This summer I plan to read lots of books (I’m sooo behind), do a weekend getaway with my sisters, and crack down on my writing. No deadlines for me because as soon as I set them life jumps in.

    Wish you luck with your summer list. You’ll crack it I’m sure. 🙂


  9. One of my big goals this summer is to make sure I don’t post a blog post the same day I write it. I feel so much better about my blog posts if I have at least 24 hours to reflect on them and edit them before they go out into the Internet.


    • I rarely write and post on the same day. For exactly the reason you mention. It’s time well-spent because those posts are our face to the world. I make enough mistakes even after editing anyway!


  10. Oh I like the idea of having “only” three goals for the summer, even if I’m not currently a teacher. I think my goals are: 1. Finish revising current work in progress. 2. Do some more marketing for The Seventh Man, and 3. Enjoy life.
    Both of my kids are getting married, our son this weekend, and our daughter June 27th! So I’m really looking forward to mid July when the craziness will be over! Lisa, co-host #IWSG, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com


  11. My three summer goals are:

    1) Clean/fix up my house.
    2) Re-write/fix up my Trojan War novel for re-e-publication.
    3) If 2 is finished, start fixing up my quasi-YA novels for potential e-pub.

    But I think 1 is probably the top goal. Can’t write if the mice chew through my power cables. (God, I hope I’m joking about that…)


      • Unfortunately, my house is literally going to fall apart unless I clean the garbage off the floors so I can hire someone to repair the stuff that’s trying to fall down, so I have to make cleaning the top priority. At least on Thursdays. Since the trash goes out on Fridays. No point cleaning on the other six days, right? (Then again, that’s probably one of the ways the house got this way…)


        • Jacqui, please tell 39yearslame that she is REALLY funny! She’s got to clean the garbage off the floors so she can hire someone to fix the stuff that’s trying to fall down – hilarious!!!! I We should make an arranged marriage between her house and mine – we’d kick start the economy so hard, no one would need a job for the next 20 years!!


  12. I no longer set goals or New Years resolutions because I never reach them and then feel like a “failure”. However, I have some “I’d likes”
    1. Read books at the beach (I live within 3 miles and rarely go)
    2. Meet with friends I rarely see
    3. Plant my vegetable garden

    I’m thinking that if I do these things i will be more productive in other ways . . time will tell.

    (I like your new picture – at least I think it’s new)


      • The joy of spending time with your daughter simply lights up your face in the picture. It looks much more like you than the former picture. You may to include another visit to see her on your summer goals.


  13. My top goal this summer is to finish one of my stories, at least the working draft. I don’t want to dilute that goals with any others, so I’m sticking with just one.


  14. Summer Goals:
    1) Finish house;
    2) Resume writing “novel on hiatus”;
    3) Convert insomnia to work on epic children’s poem (Eyorlo and the Time Lag.)

    Given the first one, I wonder if I’ll get any writing done at all!


      • Building a house is an adventure made up of thousands of mundane tasks. Right now, I’m sealing the interior of the log walls. It’s hours and hours of mindless (mindful?) work with a paintbrush. If you do it right, nobody will ever notice your work. Somehow, even though it’s an adventure to us, I cannot imagine it book-length. (However, Tracy Kidder once wrote a book, “House,” that took on the dynamic tensions between hopeful homeowner, builder, and visionary architect. A must read for wannabe builders and owners.)


  15. My top three goals for summer:
    1. Survive the grands extended stay while maintaining my blog writing schedule.
    2. Rebuild the garden shed.
    3. Send my poetry book to at least one publisher.

    Feel free to stop by and help rebuild the shed… 😉


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