Teachers get a bad wrap sometimes because we get the summers off – and, in the case of contract teachers, still get a paycheck. Now, I could go on and on about the counter arguments – about how we do 12-months-worth of work in less time, how we keep prepping materials and taking extra courses over the summer, about how a lot of us (like me) teach summer school or AQ courses, how we don’t get “vacation days” that we can use whenever we want in the year, how the sheer magnitude of work we do to help your kids really deserves a long break, etc, etc, – but this is a writing blog, so it’s not really the forum for it 🙂
The boon for me as a teacher/writer is that the summer gives me the opportunity to catch up on all the writing projects that I didn’t get to during the school year. Last summer I was really lazy in terms of my writing, so this year I’m determined to do the opposite. Since I’m teaching an online summer school course this time around, I’m able to work from home, which is going to make accomplishing my writing goals so much easier. I meant it when I said last week that I loved the alternate school where I worked, but the commute every day was a pain in the ass.
Anyway, I’ve made a list of the projects that I’ll be completing this summer. Aside from finishing the first draft of my current novel, there are a variety of short stories on my mental docket. I decided to use code names for the sake of simplicity:
- Week of July 6: Two chapters of novel (Ch. 11-12)
- Week of July 13: Housing; Home at Sea
- Week of July 20: Two chapters of novel (Ch. 13-14)
- Week of July 27: Solarpunk; Assassination
- Week of Aug 3: Two chapters of novel (Ch. 15-16)
- Week of Aug 10: Rainclouds
- Week of Aug 17: Carbon Footprint; Centaurs
- Week of Aug 24: Convention
- Week of Aug 31: ???
I don’t normally do this much planning ahead in terms of what I’m going to work on. And I’m pretty sure this plan will change as the summer wears on. For one thing, I don’t actually know how many chapters my current novel draft will have, since I’m largely discovery writing it; my fingers are crossed that it will turn out to be less, not more. This also doesn’t account for any other random ideas that might pop into my head and excite me more than what’s listed above. But it’s a bunch of goals, which I think are important for getting things done as a writer. Goals and deadlines – otherwise there’s nothing holding you accountable for spending eight hours playing Baldur’s Gate.
I’m also curious if other writers ever come up with a plan like this. Most writers I know aren’t teachers, so presumably they would use a different system. But are there weekly goals? Is there planning ahead? Is there such a thing as too many rhetorical questions at the end of a blog post?
Well, is there?!