Teachers Write! 6/4 Mini-Lesson Monday – Making Time

Welcome to writing camp, everybody! Teachers Write! is a virtual summer writing camp for teachers and librarians.  To learn more about it or sign up, check out this post.

A few quick housekeeping things:

  1. If you haven’t already added yourself to the Google doc list of participants, please do that now.
  2. If you’re on Facebook & want to join our group there, here’s the link. Then click “Join Group”
  3. If you’re on Twitter, author Joanne Levy made a Twitter-list of Teachers Write campers. You should check it out & follow one another. Make friends. 🙂  If you’re on Twitter but not on that list yet & want to be added, just tweet @JoanneLevy to let her know.

One more quick note before we start… I’m actually in New York City the first part of this week for BEA, so I’ll be checking in when I can, but it may take longer than usual for comments to be approved, etc.

Today’s topic is the very first one people asked about when we started talking about summer writing camp on Twitter.

“How do you find time to write?”

(If you are already an expert at making time or you magically have plenty of time, and you just want to get writing, you should go straight to guest author Jo Knowles’ blog and look for her weekly Monday Morning Warm-Up. She shares great writing prompts every Monday!)

If you’re still here…let’s talk about time to write.  For the first five years of my writing career, I was also teaching middle school full time. I have a family, too,  and lots of people asked how I managed to write books with everything else going on.  The answer is easy…and not-so-easy.  I made time because it was important to me.

Nobody gets more than 24 hours in a day, and while some people can get by on less sleep than others, we’re all still on a pretty level playing field when it comes to time. Notice that the title of this post isn’t “Finding Time.”  It’s “Making Time.”  You can’t decide that you want to write and then simply conjure up two new hours a day.  Your days, like mine, are probably already pretty full from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep.

So where does that writing time come from?  It’s pretty simple. You have to not do something that you’re currently doing, and use that time to write. So take a look at how you spend a typical day, and if you really want to write, choose something else that can go. If you watch TV, maybe that means not watching TV.  Or watching half an hour less. Maybe it means checking your email once in the morning and once in the afternoon instead of flittering in and out of it all day long. Maybe it means waking up half an hour earlier, or staying up half an hour later. During the school year, maybe it means having your lunch in front of your computer or notebook instead of in the faculty room. Or maybe you can write instead of chatting with the other parents while your kid is at ballet/karate/baseball/basket-weaving practice. I don’t recommend stealing time from exercise or family dinners, but there are lots of other options.

I’ve blogged about this before, talking about “Waiting for the Perfect Time to Write” and “Making Time to Write,” and you can read those posts if you need more ideas, but it comes down to this:  If you really want to write, you need to do these things:

  • Look at how you spend your time now. What can go?
  • Make time. Even 15-20 minutes a day is a great start. Make it an appointment with yourself, and then keep it.
  • Make space. If you choose a place to write, as well as a time, you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine. It doesn’t have to be fancy – one of my friends set up a tiny desk in her closet – but it helps to have a place where you usually write.
  • Share your plans with the other people who live in your house, and remind them that this is important to you.

Ready for your assignment this week? 

Make a writing plan for your summer and for your school year.

If you’re having trouble making time, start with a close look at how you currently spend your time.  This article has some great ideas as well as a time log you can download and fill out.

Then if you’d like, leave a comment to let us know:

  1. What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write.
  2. When you’ll be writing each day & for how long. Remember to be realistic. 15 minutes is fine to start.
  3. Where you’ll usually write.  This can be different places on different days, depending on your schedule.
  4. Who you told about your plans. Remember, sharing your writing plans with the people in your life helps to make them real and reminds your family & friends to give you that space for writing.

 Tomorrow, we’ll have our first Tuesday quick-write…to make use of some of that time you found made!

177 Replies on “Teachers Write! 6/4 Mini-Lesson Monday – Making Time

  1. I’m a teacher heading into summer break, but we teachers know the thought of copious amounts of free time is really a fantasy. All that non-school-time seems to flit away, doesn’t it? So, I think the idea to schedule it will work for me best. That’s my plan…
    I like to think I can dedicate 30 minutes to writing…considering it a treat of my own private “me” time. Where I will write will vary…maybe on the deck in the morning with coffee or when I can slip away, I will head down a few blocks to write in our beautiful library…maybe at the park while my 8 year old plays. The place isn’t as critical to me right now, as the time.
    I’ve kept my plan fairly quiet, but I see by your last thought I should definitely change that…so this week, those around me will know and I am sure be supportive. I’m a lucky girl that way.

    1. I agree! I need to share my plan with more people too! I tend to be quiet about anything I do for me because as a mom and teacher, I’m used to thinking of others first. I almost feel selfish taking time to do something for me. I need to change that!

  2. headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
    The Waiting Place…
    …for people just waiting. Dr Suess
    We have a brand new beautiful large library that has just opened this weekend. With large beautiful windows facing a huge park. Not to mention surrounded by some beautiful mountains,right out the east windows. The library opens at 10 am. I WILL do 2/two home chores in the morning. Park my car at one end of the park and walk over to the Library. I love walking in the park, just use to do it in the evening. I will spend 30 minutes on my writing. I hope to do this atleast 3 days a week. I am going to get a large sign that reads “GONE TO WRITE” and place it on the inside of the front door. WOW! I have a plan

    1. I love this idea! There’s a beautiful library in my favorite park near my home. I have to figure out how I can incorporate that into my writing time. Thanks for the inspiration!

    2. Sweet plan! I love the idea of the walk before the write! That would be something I may try to clear the stuff out of my head and focus in on a topic! Thanks for the brainstorm! 🙂

  3. As a teacher, summer is always the time I best keep my promises to do all the things that make me feel alive: exercise, meditate, read, and write! That said, I want to find a way to incorporate a time/place that can be maintained even during the school year.
    Early morning has always been my favorite time to write, so I will commit to 30 minutes as I drink my morning coffee. I will move my meditation time to evening so that I can write at my best thinking time. I am so excited for this opportunity to learn with all of you.

    1. Huzzah for morning people! As I started giving my snooze button more of a workout, my morning teatime took a hit. I need to remedy that…

    2. I will get up when my husband leaves for work in the mornings, fill the coffee cup, and take my musings to the patio for thirty minutes. I like the idea of doing a walkabout to clear your head and fine-tune some ideas, so that will be incorporated at least three times a week at the end ofmy writing time.

    3. I’m the same way! I sometimes joke to myself that June is really my January–it’s when I make my “New Year’s” resolutions. I’m usually pretty good about sticking to them too. When school starts though, it’s a different story. haha

  4. Hi! I so agree with telling everyone you know you are writing because it does help to get support from them and for them to realize this is really important to you. My husband and I sat down yesterday to figure out a mini-schedule so we can be organized this summer and we’ll both have time to get things done.

    I love the suggestion to do e-mail in the morning and at night. I am worried that I will get on to write for myself but will get sidetracked with either answering e-mails, replying to comments on my blog, or working on my blog, and that means I won’t get my actual writing done.

    Right now we have talked about having naptime be my writing time. Usually my youngest son naps in the afternoon for about 2-3 hours. My older son likes to play quietly or watch a movie during that time so that will work perfectly. I’ll just open my computer as soon as the kiddos are settled and then I asked my husband if he wouldn’t mind taking the kids to the park as soon as naptime is over. I hope this will give me a little extra time – or at least the time I need if he ever wakes up early from his nap.

    There are so many things to fit in during the day and I find that 30 minutes is hard for me – so far when I write and only have about 20-30 minutes I find that I just barely get my brain into writing mode and then it’s time to go. But every little bit counts!

    1. “I find that I just barely get my brain into writing mode and then it’s time to go.” YES. That’s why I upped my time from 15 minutes to 20 to start…

    2. I love summer time and weekend nap times! Unfortunately, during that time I will catch up on housework, grade papers, revise lesson plans, run on the dreadmill (I would much rather run outside), or read a good book. And if my oldest daughter is awake, she hovers asking me questions like – Why is that the setting? Does the main character remind you of a friend? When will you be done? Ugh! By writing this out I realize why I don’t write at nap time.

      It sounds like you have a plan and now it is time to execute it. Wouldn’t it be great to have a few hours a day of writing time? The ideal world – I can dream! Good luck to you, and don’t forget to enjoy it!:)

      1. Those summer naps are the best, aren’t they? I love waking early, getting things done, and napping in the afternoon. Come on, summer.

  5. Reading email takes up a big part of my time during the day. Having it easily accessible on my phone doesn’t help. So, checking my email first rather than sitting down to write will be the first thing I will cut out of my schedule. I will stick to checking it once in the morning and once in the late afternoon but only after I’ve worked on my writing.

    As I was making my summer and year long writing plans, I decided that I can do an hour throughout the day but only if I break it up into 20 minute chunks. I think those are manageable. We’ll see if that’s the case or not :-).

    I will usually write at the kitchen table, in the wee hours of the morning, as I have my cup of coffee for the day.

    I haven’t told anyone about my writing plans yet but I will share them with a close colleague at work for encouragement and to keep me on track.

  6. After dinner and before any TV time, I block out time to write each night. My husband knows that’s my writing time and that keeps me feeling accountable to get my “butt in the chair.” For me, it’s all about the schedule. If I have it “scheduled” in, I’m better about sticking to the plan.

  7. Hello everyone!
    Thank you Kate for this wonderful opportunity to explore writing.
    Since I am still working this week , I plan to devote two hours in the night, 9 to 11 for writing.
    I can add a couple of hours on the weekends.
    I am working on my Doctoral as well, so I have my share of academic writing but not this summer .
    I have writer’s notebook and have created Writing Log to keep track of my writing hours.
    I have to cut my TV watching hours to stay focused on the writing.


  8. Author Elisa Carbone used to wear a hat when she was writing; that was a signal to her kids that they shouldn’t disturb her. Every child and every parenting style is different, of course, but it seems to me that that’s a very clear visual signal that many small children can learn.

    When I was at Chautauqua in 2004, Eileen Spinelli talked about “writing in the cracks.” As a mom, it was the only way she could accomplish any writing at all, to be able to write in the five minutes here, ten minutes there, that being a mother allowed her. I felt that my brain didn’t work that way, that I could only write if I had at least forty-five minutes of undisturbed time. That was an excuse. You can train your brain to do what you need it to do. Writing a few minutes a day every day gets you closer to your goals faster than writing an hour a month.

    You have to let your ideas simmer in a relatively accessible part of that creative brain, however. This summer, allow yourself to write in your head while shopping, doing laundry, watching kids at the pool, and so forth. Not shutting yourself off from your writing when you aren’t physically writing will help you get back into the groove when you have a chance to get out the pen and paper or turn on your computer.

    Practicing writing in the cracks in the summer will help you keep going in the fall when school starts and your schedule is even more hectic.

  9. Okay, started a new blog just for my writing reflections about this “course” and beyond (but not the actual story itself): http://KatyrooWriter.blogspot.com – with initial post about my daily writing time choice. While writing this morning, I’ll work on today’s prompt!

    Thanks so much for this opportunity and virtual kick-in-the-pants to finally get started writing down what I’ve been thinking and overthinking.

  10. My goal is to write a minimum of 1 hr a day, 6 days a week. In reality, I am aiming to write a minimum of 2 hours at least 4 of those days, and to have at least 1-2 days a week where I might write 4 hours or more. I set the 1-hr goal because I know it is doable, whereas I’d feel frustrated if I set the 2 or 4 hour goal, right out of the gate.

    Depending on the block of work, I might break the hours into 30 minute bursts, then break for something else. That goal should be for novel or short story writing only, so any blog writing would be extra.

    One strategy I’ll use to make the time is to ‘pay myself first’ — it helps me not have time slip away if I write before anything else. I am home with my sons for the summer, and they know that I need to reach some writing goals this summer — they’re usually pretty supportive. Still, it will help if I also plan an outing or activity with them each day — they will nag me less if they feel like I’ve done something with them.

    I may check out today’s writing prompt, linked in the blog. Or I may use writing time today to transcribe some notes I made over the weekend. My big goals for the summer are to get a novel draft close to done, for querying. I have 2 drafts, and the one that is least finished is the one in my head, so I’ll work to get that material down first, then decide whether to continue with assembling it or go back to line editing the more finished one. I also have 2-3 short stories that need finishing or revising, to get more work submitted to lit mags. And I have a couple applications I want to get out. I’ll budget those smaller projects in around the bigger chunks of novel work.

    I look forward to seeing what everyone else is working on. Thanks for setting up the facebook group.

  11. I don’t see myself as a writer so this is going to be a great project for me to stretch myself this summer. I am going to start out committing to writing 15 minutes a day, hopefully that will increase throughout the summer. I think I will start writing on my front porch in my rocking chair so I can see the sunrise. If that becomes to distracting I will move to the kitchen counter or study. My goal is to become comfortable enough with writing that I will start a blog by the end of summer.

  12. I’m just wondering if people with blogs are going to continue leaving just links because I don’t think I’m going to click on any of them which is a shame. Is it possible to copy the blog content onto here? Just a thought.

    I started writing a paranormal suspense trilogy a year ago and I gave up all television except two favourite shows. I come home from work and exercise the dogs and myself at the same time then begin writing. My husband cooks dinner and all of our children have left home so am lucky there, okay not really cos I miss all my girls. I emerge every now and then to make conversation then retreat back to the world within my story.

    If I’m at a critical point or ideas are rushing at me I will write during lunchtime, scribbling away, being unsociable but my colleagues know what I’m doing and are really supportive on those days.

    Can’t wait to get started. I want to work on an old urban fantasy scifi novel I started years ago. Working with a group is both scary and really exciting. Woohoo.

  13. I will set my time to write in the evenings after supper. I am co-teaching two 6th grade language arts classes next year, and I need to be able to practice what I preach to my students. I will check out today’s writing prompt. I will talk with a couple of co-workers and they will keep encouraging me to write this summer.

  14. My plan is to write for at least 15 minutes a day after breakfast. I play way too much scrabble online, read e-mails, etc., so some of that can go. My big plan is to finish the middle grade novel I’m writing during summer break.

  15. Last Thursday was my last day as a committed classroom teacher. My plans are to use my time to create innovative curriculum materials aligned to my school districts reading lists so that developmental life skills students have greater access to grade level curriculum. I’m a lot anxious about this new direction in my life. It’s my hope that by participating in this summer writing camp, I will develop a more structured daily routine that involves creative thinking and production.

    I am an early-riser, so I plan to write in my home office where I can see the sun peeking through the eastern window as the day begins.

  16. Well, I like to wake up, drink my coffee and read the paper instead of hitting the ground running like I do every school morning. But my plan for the summer is to start by 10:00 every day and go a minimum of two hours every day. I sometimes find that if I get on a roll, it will be mid-afternoon before I realize it. So that’s my plan for now.

    I have told my husband this but I need to stress to him that this time is my working time — just as if I was at school. He is very supportive of my writing time and wants me to be published, but sometimes he forgets that I need the time to do this. Since I’m just sitting at the computer, he will wander by and ask me something–totally distracting me. So I need to remind him writing time is a “no distraction” time. Unfortunately the way our house is arranged, I don’t really have a secluded location to work in but if it gets bad enough, I may go to the Starbucks around the corner!

  17. I was full of self doubt this morning. Did I really want to find time to write? All I was really interested in was using this as an opportunity to become a better writing teacher. I had wanted to be involved in a writing project and none was available in my area, so this seemed the perfect chance. My questions were, what am I going to write? What will I do with it? I enjoy getting up early, so I can easily spend 15 minutes of that time writing… I visited the guest blog, began by copying the questions and could have written for an hour! It brought out so many seeds for stories! Thank you,

    1. Yay! Way to go, Carol. It does seem awfully easy to find other things to do instead of writing, even when we really WANT to write. I find that just sitting down and beginning is the key, and then the minutes fly by.

    2. I agree with Katy, Carol! Good for you! I am very familiar with those doubts, and love that you got to work and found yourself going with the flow. You don’t have to know (right now) what you will write (exactly) or how you will use it (exactly). I’m glad you’re here with us!

    3. Hi Carol,

      I am a lot like you. I teach writing, but I’m not a “published author” myself. I do want to push myself and get back into writing – but at the same time “steal” great ideas to use with my students. I teach grades 5-8 in Vermont. I look forward to comparing notes with you.


  18. I have found that it’s very helpful, motivating, and intimidating–in a good way–to share my writing plans and goals with others. My plan for this wonderful new writers’ camp is:

    1. Write for 30 minutes every morning. I don’t work very well with 15-minute increments.
    2. Have coffee nearby.

  19. Even though it’s summer, I’m still waking up with the sun (and the sun is waking up earlier too — for the next few weeks at least); so, I will make at least 15 minutes for writing soon right after I’m up. I’ll work on a laptop at home, trying not to look too often at the fine mountain view, colored by the sunrise, out my window. As for sharing plans, well, I apparently just told 600+ teachers from all over who have joined this project, but they’re not living in my house. I’ll tell my wife when she stirs shortly.

  20. A precept (Thank you R.J. Palacio and Wonder–have you read it yet? What are you waiting for? Make time!) I used with my students last year: Time and energy are finite resources. And so in the spring I honored this precept. I resigned as head girls soccer coach at our high school. For twelve years I have engaged in the furious balancing act of coaching and teaching high school English in various forms. I told myself that if I ever felt I could no longer get the balance right, I would step back from coaching. So I did. Many were shocked by my decision: my love for soccer is well known to my family, students, and colleagues. And I work at a school where many teach because they are coaches (I like to think I coach because I am a teacher.) But as I recognized more and more that teaching reading and writing well means sharing my own reading and writing with my students, I also recognized that coaching soccer depleted my finite resources to a degree that I could no longer rationalize.

    Ten days after our soccer banquet, I still find that something gets in my eye every time I look at the jersey and photo collage the girls gave me. (I cleaned my house aggressively, yet these particles still fill the air.)

    Most writing begins as confession. I confess to being conflicted about how I carved out more time to write.

    1. William,

      I want to offer you support in your decision and do not know the right words. “Congratulations” is not appropriate, nor is “Sympathy”. I feel for your difficult choice and am inspired by your realistic approach.


  21. I subscribe to the Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird) theory: “It’s not like you don’t have a choice. You can write, or you can kill yourself.”

    Okay, maybe I’m not THAT dedicated, but the point is we have a biological need to write, so plow ahead through those things that would stop you…doubt, self-censorship, jealousy even…

  22. So as my husband was leaving for work, I shared with him my first assignment – making time. As I ponder all the possibilites for my time to write, I’ve been thinking about the conversation between my husband and me as he prepared to begin his first semester of his doctorate (he had to read 17 books in a matter of 4 weeks and write about each of them-YIKES!). We held a family meeting with our kids, 10 and 16 years old, to tell them about dad’s work. He made a reading/writing plan and communicated it to our family.

    In thinking about how I WANT to spend my time and what I NEED to do this summer, I think that early morning or later in the evening will probably be the best time for me. I love that my kids sleep late in the summer and are usually occupied in the evenings so that will leave time for myself. Many times, that is when my husband is writing as well, and we both like being together as we work whether it’s in our room, the living room, or the front porch. I usually end up working in my room, but enjoyed a cool morning outside the other day. I’m excited about writing at the beach as well during July on our vacation!

    I believe a realistic time for me would be about 1 hour a day, whether it’s all at once or divided time. If I do more, GREAT!

    The other notion that struck me is when I think about writing, I picture myself on the computer. But, I have to change that picture to include myself writing in a journal as well, especially when I don’t have access to electronics. So, I need to make sure I have a journal with me at those times.

    This camp has also prompted me to set up a blog, which I had been thinking about doing in the past months, but now I’ve decided to go for it. That is one more scary part of writing for me!

    1. I was contemplating starting my own blog as well! I’m a little intimidated as well but I think I’m going to do it too!

  23. I found I have to schedule in my writing time or else it doesn’t get done! Also a writer friend of mine told me to seize every opportunity you get to write. She has twins and that doesn’t hold her back! When I taught full-time, I’d carry a notebook and write whenever I was able to. I’d also go to the Burger King across the street and just write for my lunch.

  24. I can usually squeeze in an hour for myself around my kids’ naps, less when they don’t nap at the same time! But I can also usually get in some time when my daughter wants to watch a little TV. So my goal for this summer is 30 minutes to an hour a day for writing. I’m probably going to have to cut out some of my reading and Internet time. I’m going to give it a try, and really work hard at not being too hard on myself on the days I just can’t work it out.

  25. Hmm… I admire the aspirations of many of the posts I’ve read, but I know myself and the KISS principal prevails, for me. I get discouraged if I do not fulfill my lofty goals, and I want this “summer camp” to be something that motivates and fuels my desire to live a writerly life. My commitment will be to write for 30 minutes in the early morning, after my exercise walk (thanks for that reminder, Kate!) I have a workspace already set up on my side porch, but if the weather is fine, I will be outdoors with my writer’s notebook. Using the computer may distract me , although it means retyping for purposes of feedback from the group.I will resist the temptation to over-think and over-plan this. After all, camp should be fun, right?

    1. Love this, Mary! Also, in the KISS vein, the wonderful writer (and teacher) Kathi Appelt once said that there was a time in her life when her kids were young when her goal was to write ONE SENTENCE A DAY. Sometimes she wrote more, but she could always find time to write one sentence. It sounds strange, almost like one sentence is too little “to count” so what’s the the point, but those sentences and those minutes and those pages add up, almost magically. 30 minutes sounds like a big goal. Good luck, be kind to yourself and have fun!

  26. I decided to “make” time to write this summer because I’ve been having some inspirational creative thoughts that I would like to one day turn into a mid-late elementary chapter book. I’m currently living overseas in Germany but am making time to write amidst moving back to the states and starting a new chapter. Realistically, my goal is 15-20 mins of writing per day in the afternoon before my financee gets home so I have a quiet period of time where I can be alone with my thoughts (if my cat, who is currently sitting on my computer, lets me!)

  27. Happy first day of camp! Good luck to everyone. Hope to see you round the bunks. xo Gae

  28. Here’s my blog post with my reflections on making time: http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2012/06/04/making-time-to-write/ I find that lack of time is usually a cover for something else. Right now in my case, it’s fear. I have a draft in progress of a novel that I have no idea what to do next with. Claiming lack of time lets me avoid facing it. But I am digging it out and taking it with me to work on while waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
    I’ve also taken part in Laurie Halse Anderson’s 15-minutes-a-day challenge during August in the past. I can find 15 minutes in even a busy day if I really want to.

  29. I am going to be ditching my morning news programs this summer. (It’s usually bad news anyway, and I prefer to read the paper.) I like to write in the morning because my dreams tend to inspire me. I plan to write on my patio during nice weather, and at my desk during messy days. I will be setting aside at least 20 minutes every morning, and if I have an appointment, I will get up earlier to fit in the time for writing.
    I have already shared this with my partner teacher in 7th grade. He thinks I’m crazy, but he’s a math teacher, so what does he know? LOL! (Just kidding!) I’ve also shared this with my sister who is my personal cheerleader.

  30. My writing tends to happen now, when my munchkin has gone to bed for the night. If I am up before anyone else it may start then, but this is the time I set aside and finish my ‘tasks’ before I can do whatever else might be on the agenda for the evening.

    I would love to write three times a week, but with this new opportunity it may ending up being a bit more. If I write for a solid 20 minutes that would be fine.

    What has to go? Surfing, putzing, web time zap. We are home so rarely so any time I can be spending with people that is the priority.

    Who knows? You do! (And my husband) Like others, my impetus for writing is that I ask my students to do it. This summer, as I begin to sort through our new standards, I want to think about (and write) the tasks I start planning for next year.

  31. Ahhh the making time versus finding time conundrum. There is no time to find in my days during the school year. I wake up 530, shower and dress, cuddle my smallest one (NOT a negotiable item on my to do list!), throw together lunch while the coffee brews and head out the door. I don’t even get coffee or breakfast until I’m sitting at my desk in the morning. I finally have the chance to sit and breathe around 9 or 930, at which point my brain is fried. The majority of school-year writing has taken place during planning periods when there was time. Hence the fact that I’ve written fewer than 100 pages over the course of the last 9 months!

    This summer, I will commit to FIND time to write a minimum of 30 minutes every day while the kids are at camp (or while the small one is, at least. I can still write during the majority of the summer while the elder two are home). My hope is to bring the laptop to somewhere OUTSIDE of my home. Be it the tiny balcony outside my living room, Starbucks, or the not-too-distant japanese gardens, I will be writing somewhere other than my couch or kitchen table. Too easy to find other things that need doing if I’m sitting in the main area of my home.

    Once the school year has begun, I will commit to writing at least 20 minutes per night once the kids are all tucked in. I WILL stick to that schedule!

    Additionally, I think I’m going to create a blog just for keeping track of my writing. Once I get it set, I’ll link it here and add it to the google docs…

    1. I am thinking a blog might help me too.. An actually place that I have to turn in the work. I do really well when I have “homework” . Even if its just something I keep to myself for awhile.

  32. It is so fun to read all of your posts! As many of you have said, I am not concerned about time to write during the summer, it is during the school year where I will really have to plan! My current plan is to cut back on some television time to make more time for my writing life. WIth two little ones running around, I am going to commit to fifteen minutes a day to start, but know that once I get going it will be longer. I will plan to write in bed, at our kitchen table, or outside under a shady tree. Prior to even learning about this “camp” I had told my husband that I wanted to work on writing each day, so he is helping to hold me accountable. I also know that being a part of this wonderful community of writer’s is going to help me a lot! So excited to learn and grow with all of you!

  33. So inspired by reading what others have written!
    My summer does not begin until June 23, so I will start with my school year plan:15 minutes a day after dinner (and aiming to be finished by 8PM, by which time my brain seems to turn to mush- not to self, just turned 8PM here). If I know I have a night time event I will take 15 minutes of my lunch, but I hate to give up that time, because teaching can be such an alone in the world of kids job and living alone I need that adult time. I will cut out checking school email from home to make more time for my writing.
    Summer plan- after breakfast, but before lunch- 30 minutes. I will write in the living room to listen to the birds, or go down the street to the library or coffee shop (so I feel more writerly!)
    By the way still feeling scared, but LOVED your post Kate on fear!
    I have shared my writing plans with a few friends and will even share tomorrow with my class as we keep talking about making plans for learning this summer. Mys sons who live far away will also hear this.

    1. I’d love to be able to get to somewhere I could feel “writerly” as well. I’m afraid for me, it’s be back patio listening to the birds, like yourself. Thanks for your thoughts here! 🙂

  34. I’m going to make time 30min before go to sleep. And I’ll write in my room… I think it’s a good and realistic beginning. I’m ready to write!

  35. Time and fearlessness are two of my biggest writing hurdles. Thank you for tackling the former on the 1st day! I’ll be writing about it tonight!!! I’m extremely excited about your summer camp!!!!!!!

  36. LOL! I was so excited to respond that I neglected to answer the questions. Here goes:
    1. I’ll be cutting back on my Netflix time. Instead of watching old sitcoms, I’ll be writing new texts.
    2. I’ll be writing 15 minutes before bedtime. If I find that to be problematic, I’ll write 15 minutes upon waking.
    3. I’ll be writing at my dining room table.
    4. I told 5 friends, several of whom are in education and have published poems and fiction. I’ll share with my family tonight!

  37. Today’s writing, from my blog (http://meanderingmaya.blogspot.com/):

    I am supposed to carve aside some time, possibly getting rid of something to set up a writing plan. Day 1 and they want me to plan–blah–it’s summer. I’m writer not a planner. Well, I could be like Bradbury who says he throws up in the morning and cleans up in the afternoon; however, I know during school there isn’t time for me to throw up in the morning. Let me look at my itemized questions and try to see my way through this, as I develop writer’s discipline.

    1. What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write.
    I could set aside technology, the phone or the iPad.

    2. When you’ll be writing each day & for how long. Remember to be realistic. 15 minutes is fine to start.
    I like writing at the end of the day; it’s a time that I like to use the written word to process the events of my day. I would like to write at least 20 minutes, a minimum of 5 nights per week. I like the idea of winding down by reflecting on my day. One thing I do now to make sure I write each night is a set an alarm to go off on the night I write. I guess I can add the alarm to all nights, knowing I promised to write 5 nights per week.
    During the summer time, my writing will be less structured as to when I write. It’s summer time not schedule time. Too much summer schedule makes me unhappy.

    3. Where you’ll usually write. This can be different places on different days, depending on your schedule.
    I prefer the laptop sitting on the sofa, sipping hot tea, kicking back and sorting out my thoughts.

    4. Who you told about your plans. Remember, sharing your writing plans with the people in your life helps to make them real and reminds your family & friends to give you that space for writing.
    I’ll tell my husband my plans for writing.

  38. It’s great to read all the comments and pledges from all the writers here on Teachers Write! Being committed to “make time,” as Kate says, rather than “take time,” is key. Telling someone else about your writing time plan affirms your willingness to take the leap! It’s like having a buddy to make sure you drag yourself to the gym or out on the bike ride. 🙂 One of the fun aspects about writing that I’ve found is once we commit, our story/characters/plot can simmer on the back burner while we’re doing something else (like biking or being at the gym — or stirring a pot on the stove). Writing is a fascinating process; it builds in our subconsciouses (is that a word?), and then, when we least expect it, it can become a way to relax and play with words and our characters; then it’s not something that we have to force ourselves to do. Well, ha. I just reread that last sentence, and truly, there are times when I do have to force myself to sit and write, especially when it’s all about revisions or when I’m having a plot sticking-point! I’m tickled to see everyone here, and I look forward to Wednesday, when I’ll be guest author along with Kate and others, and also on Thursday. Happy writing, all happy campers!
    Margo 🙂

  39. It started today! Really thinking about taking time out to write…. I have a small notebook that I carry with me so I can jot down ideas, observations etc., that I make or just pop into my head. I am really trying to write my first book and have a blog dedicated to what the contents may be, but am also thinking of other things that are “outside” of my boundaries…

    So I am making time whenever I can throughout my day to write. it is really amazing at how much I have to say and share. I just needed to be motivated, maybe being here with all of you too has given me a push, a reason to take a risk and share while alo looking forward to feedback.

    I am carrying a small notebook with me.

    During the summer(after school is through) I am taking a long time either in the AM or PM to write. In a place where I am comfortable.

    Share my ideas and ask questions here when they arise.
    I plan to keep on blogging about my own professional growth and reflect on my teaching practice. This makes things more transparent and exposed to help me express/see what I am saying. My blog http://kindergartenlife.wordpress.com
    I also love how people have signed up as email subscribers and leave comments.

    So this is just from today!

  40. I tried a different approach that I’ve never done before: instead of trying to schedule in a block of time, I’m doing short sprints throughout the afternoon/evening. My mornings are completely taken up with traveling to and from my class, and then three hours actually in class, so mornings are out for me. I’m already getting up early.

    But, doing sprints throughout the rest of the day is working beautifully. I’m managing to keep on top of things and I’ve gotten at least an hour each day of good writing time in. I keep a notebook with me at all times and can jot things down when I’m not at my computer.

    It’s rather like exercise…I’m finding that my cumulative effort is just as effective, if not more so, than one big chunk up front.

  41. (Kate — if what I wrote earlier has already been approved — it looked as if it dropped into cyberspace thanks to my techno-challenged nature– please delete this!)

    What wonderful commitments from everyone! Writing is like driving with your lights on in the dark. You can see only just so far ahead of you, but you can make the whole trip that way. Warm congratulations to all participants in this special community of writers.

    One of the fun aspects of writing is that, even when we’re not able to write, somehow, those elusive ideas/characters/plots/details keep simmering on the back burner, so we can actually let our subconciouses (is that a word?) do a little work while we’re working on something more mundane, such as laundry, going to the gym, or taking a bike ride. Then, when we sit down to write again, we can often find such wonderful changes in our writing, because, as writers, all we do informs our work at the keyboard. Then, it can become less “work” and more “play.” Oh, ha. After rereading that last sentence, I must guiltily admit that sometimes, writing is still WORK, especially when there’s something that’s not working, and I know it, or when I have a list of revision requests. But, writing is setting ourselves free, ultimately, so, it’s time to put the shoulder to the wheel (we try not to use cliches!) and work. Surprisingly, our “Aha!” moment does burst into our existence.

    My best writing time is in the morning — early — with coffee, and I find that writing a few emails to friends helps jump-start my “voice.”

    Happy writing, all, and I look forward to seeing you all virtually on Wednesday when I’m a guest author along with Kate and other fellow authors.

    Margo 🙂

  42. I like that the first assignment was to make a writing plan. I am planner and love to have structure to my day!

    I recently just started working out again. I thought it would be hard to find 30 mins. for myself. It has been easier than I thought. I know that I can find 15 mins. to write each day. I still have 11 days of school left so I will be writing after my kids go to bed. Once summer vacation starts I see myself writing in the morning or late afternoon. The time will be easier once school is finished. I love spending time outside on my deck. This is where I can picture myself writing.

    I haven’t told anyone else about summer writing camp yet. I will talk to my husband as he is always good at keeping me motivated and he encourages me to achieve my goals as well.

    I can’t wait to see where Summer Writing Camp takes me!

  43. I haven’t told anybody about my plans yet–you are the first. And even so, I do it hesitantly. Not because I think I’ll fail or because I’m insecure, but because I’m fiercely competitive with myself, and like to dig in deep, and prove that I can do it. And I don’t really want a sideline of cheerleaders. This is how it was during my first half marathon that I ran this fall–I didn’t want congratulations, I was horrified at the hoards of cheering crowds at the finish line…I just needed to prove to myself that by god, I can run 13.1 miles. But because I also believe in community, and I know that writing is meant to be shared, I need to share my plan with you–some of whom I already feel a connection to.

    My exchange student moves out in 13 days, and I have plans to move an old 1950s style schoolteacher’s desk up from the basement and set up a little office for myself into the guest room. During the school year I am going to continue the 15 minute writing that I’ve been doing since February, under Kate’s suggestion (& inspiration), but during the summer, I need to really buckle down. Rising early before the children and dogs is always the goal, but I know that the lure of the summer sheets and whir of the fan on a hot morning always get the best of me, and I find myself lounging late in the mornings.

    My goal is to rewrite the Iliad for my middle school students (and they do know this, so maybe I’m a hypocrite in my earlier dialogue). I told them I’d have a draft when we returned to school, and so here we go. I’m so happy that I have you all by my side!

  44. I plan to do my writing in the morning at my desk. I normally work on academic research and writing there and rarely do any writing for myself, so I think it will be a good routine to start. I am not on vacation for another month, but I plan to start with 20 minutes for the first weeks. What will I cut out to make time to write? My habit of reading / viewing all the news out there first thing in the morning (I am a bit of a news-aholic). I think taking some time with my own thoughts might be a nicer way to start the day.
    I am really excited about this “camp” and can’t wait to begin tomorrow.

  45. My ambition is small–spend a little less time piddling on my iPad and a little more time writing

  46. Thank you, Kate for this great opening post. I also enjoyed (and could relate to) your earlier posts and liked the additional one you linked to.

    It’s fun to see everyone’s enthusiasm and writing plans.

    I also was struck by what you said about exercise…NOT replacing it with writing. I’ve struggled to exercise in the past, then got into a groove but fell out again. TODAY is the first day of a summer exercise/wellness program that I’ve signed up for through my work. I’m committing to 30 minutes of walking a day, 5 days a week. That feels like a lot to start, so I’m a little worried that I’m defeated before I’ve begun. (I know that’s not a good attitude, but it’s how I’m feeling.)

    In terms of writing, I’ve been struggling with my schedule since I started my new job in January. (I LOVE working in the library but am still figuring out how all of this–life–fits together.)

    I don’t like getting up in the morning, but once I’m up, I like it. I’m going to try to get up earlier and spend 30 minutes walking and then 30 minutes writing before I do anything else (other than pee). I will tell my husband and son when they come home…and, of course, I’ve told all of you! On re-reading this, I’m going to amend my plan: I’m not going to “try.” I’m going to do. 🙂

    Good luck everybody!

  47. For the school year – I write for about an hour each school day in between work & childcare pick-up, and then about for 2 hours on weekends.
    For the summer: my husband and I have worked out that I’ll get to write from 4-6 every day, after the hubby gets home from work, so he can watch the kids.

  48. I think more clearly in the morning, so my plan is to give up playing Words With Friends (I have ten games in progress) in the morning and write for those 15 minutes instead. If I have time in the evening, when I’m more likely to feel weary, I can play a round of WWF. I decided on this because I know I will end up filling up my summer (like I always do) and will then make excuses for why I’m still not writing. This plan will carry me into summer and beyond. I can do it. I WILL do it!

  49. Thieves lurk among us, and they are stealing our time. As I age, this reality becomes more clear with each speeding day. When one is young, time means very little because the demands on that time correlate more directly to our desires in how to spend said time. As youth, we slept in a little later in the mornings, we arranged our own schedules according to activities we willingly chose ourselves (excepting the required hours in school, or course), and we believed the future was ours for the taking.

    Then the future looms nearer as marriage and family rearrange time into categories. Time then becomes measured in terms of family, work, household, and social categories. The more activities family members are involved with, the more organized the time available. Our accomplishments during this life stage seem amazing, in retrospect, given the time constrictions. Organization is the key to completing everything on our daily plates of activities and tasks. We never seem to have enough hours in our days for all that needs to be done.

    One would think that when the children move out and begin lives of their own, Time would suddenly step in and offer itself for one’s pleasurable use. The time once designated for family and household chores could now be rearranged to allow for more social time or, like the time from youth, more hours to spend on one’s own desired activities. However, this is not the case. Suddenly we question how we ever got so much done when we had families at home because now there seems to be no time for anything. We ask ourselves where did the time go? Any often we have no answer. The thieves have struck, and time has disappeared.

    Now the future seems oh, so much closer, not some distant element that once was the target of procrastination. “Oh, I’ll do that later” or “When I retire…”. We begin to recall our past in much more favorable memories and we tend to view our futures as limited, unpromised days. We make bucket lists of the many things we always wished we had done when we had the time. Now that time is limited, these lists are comprised of the serious and the silly. I want to ride a hot air balloon, travel out of the country, and write a novel. But none of this will be accomplished if we can’t identitfy the thieves that keep stealing time away from us.

    These thieves suck the very hours right out from under our noses. Determined to catch these thieves, I have begun to document the findings of my research. The entire world shares the same number of hours per day, yet some don’t seem subjected to this thievery as much as others. So I decided to document my own use of each twenty-four hour time period to determine just exactly when the thieves are striking at my house. I want my time returned! By glancing at the schedule for Day One, I think I can capture two of the thieves that lurk insider my computer hiding between Facebook and e-mail. Another thief resides inside my television every evening between six and ten. There may be a third one that sneaks in and keeps hitting my snooze button on the alarm. I’m almost certain these thieves are part of a gang that, when planning a heist, know the soft targets, beginning with me. Now that I have identified them, I plan to set up a sting operation and capture these time thieves.

  50. As a mother of four and a teacher, the lack of time is always an issue for me. I have tried getting up early, but I seem to just get into a groove before it’s time to stop and begin my day. I have also tried setting aside time in the evening and dedicating it to writing, but this time never seems to be sacred. If one of my children has a crisis or needs help with homework, I am deterred from my writing and flip the switch to “mama mode.” However, I’ve decided to turn dinner over to my two oldest daughters for the summer. Now that they have no school responsibilities, one will take care of Monday & Wednesday and the other will be in charge of Tuesday & Thursday. This should help free me up to do more writing. I am also hoping to find at least two hours on the weekends.

    Happy Writing to all!

  51. I think I survive daily due to a schedule. I truly believe it is the nature of the beast! I love structure, I love lists, I love to have a plan for everything I do so this assignment is perfect to get me focused on how I will write daily!

    I was really good about writing daily when my oldest son was born ten years ago. I wrote about his adventures, my sleepless nights, and those many moments. Baby number two came along just short of three years later and I continued to write at night. Sadly over the course of the past two years as time has become more sparse… I fear that my nightly writing has taken a back seat to many other adventures in the evening. So I am thrilled at the prospect of being motivated to write again.

    I will write nightly until school ends, then I envision writing in the morning during the summer. I love my slow mornings of coffee and the kids playing with nowhere to go and nothing special to do. I would love to start with 15 minutes each day and I would love to do it outside on the deck where it is quiet and peaceful… until one of my children comes scurrying out!

    I haven’t told anyone of my plan except I did tell a colleague (Mel) who is part of this project as well! I did buy three notebooks on Saturday and told my children that I had plans to write this summer. My seven year old decided he needed a notebook too… perhaps we can write together! I have always wanted to write a Mom-son journal with letters back and forth… perhaps that will be another summer writing adventure for me!!

  52. My realistic plan is to write for 15 minutes first thing in the morning, at the kitchen table, with my first cups of coffee. This time is appearing magically in my schedule because I’ve decided that I really don’t need to get to school 2 hours early this time of year! I’ve told my husband and son, and they’re being wonderfully supportive. This is feeling real!

  53. For me, what can go is Internet time. I have a few blogs that I enjoy reading daily; the rest I can catch up on in longer chunks or on the weekends. I have been home with my new daughter since March, so right now her morning nap is a perfect time to write, but I’d like to make my plan and set a routine with the school year in mind because I know that’s when it will get rough.

    My plan is to write after dinner each weeknight(at least)–either while the baby naps, or later, when she goes down for the night– for at least 15 minutes. Many times, once I get started, I keep going, so I may do more. Right now, I like to write on our porch but will have to find a new location when winter comes. I told my husband. He tends to be more supportive of my writing time than I am. I’m excited to connect with a new community of teacher writers!

  54. You know, it’s funny — in some ways, I tone it down over the summer, as a writer. I write a lot during the year — every day, in fact — and find the summer as a way to recharge the engines a bit, be with my family, and figure out some new things. I guess I write more in my head than I write on the page, and I find that space to be important.
    When I do write, I write in the morning. Early. Before the kids get up and the day truly begins. My mind is clearest during those hours, and the words often flow. So, I go with it.
    Thanks for the strong prompt to get us started.

  55. Still trying to process all this~ But writing through out the day~ taking some breaks to do. I also draw,do art, and teach art to kids ~so it will tie in nicely!!

  56. I will write first thing in the morning and will take a walk when I am finished. I will use my computer and will probably write in my office. My husband uses the same office, so if that becomes distracting, I will use a notebook and will write at the park before walking.

  57. This past year, I’ve had the luxury of taking classes that require me to write regularly, which was fantastic motivation for me to put pen to paper. Now that summer is here, I’m relying on my own will power and dedication, which goes okay most days. To-Do lists are my friends. I make them up for each day, sometimes multiple times. I’m always sure to schedule time for both reading and writing, even if that means reading a few pages and writing a quick note to a friend. That’s my minimum, though. I’d like to set aside a minimum of a half hour for writing. The hard part, for me, is balancing the reading and writing–and everything else, of course. I started off the summer with tons of reading, but i found that it was too easy to get buried in the book and I’d forget that I’d wanted to write as well. So I’m working on that.

    I do find that I’m most productive in the mornings, so I do my best to make my to-do list ordered accordingly. Summer, though, isn’t when I struggle to make time, even though I still fail on occasion. The real test will come in the fall, but I’m hoping that establishing a habit here in the summer will make that transition easier.

    In terms of where I write, that could be anywhere. Often, I sit on my bed, but I like to take a chair into the backyard and set myself up there as well. I prefer writing in a notebook, without the distractions of other programs or the internet calling to me from my computer screen, so that increases my mobility a bit. I’m going to consciously try to cut down on excessive e-mail checking, etc. in order to make more time in my day–and I’ll use that to write and to read!

    I’ve told a few of my fellow students and my friends about this adventure, but I suppose I’ll tell my family at some point as well. Having other people (all of you!) involved in my writing will be a huge help in terms of motivation, I think.

  58. I try to write 15-30 minutes every day, but it doesn’t always happen. I teach middle school, and like all teachers, I work very hard to give my students the best I have to offer. Over the years, I’ve written dozens of essays, poems, and stories. Most of the writing I do is abandoned in various stages of completion. Every summer, I promise myself to get going on my writing dreams, but then my lack of confidence kick me in the head and I begin making excuses and keeping myself so busy that I don’t have time to write. Instead, I spend my time reading about writing, dreaming about writing, and reading other people’s writing. By mid-August I feel like a failure once again for not accomplishing my dream of building a writing career. I used to tell myself, “Someday, I’ll have more time.” Well, it’s now SOMEDAY! My sons are grown, and for the first time in thirty years, I’m not working this summer. So, this is my opportunity to turn my dream into reality. I admit that I’m a little scared that I’ll once again fritter my time away. I decided to make a commitment by going public. Joining writing camp is one way I’m doing that. One of my goals is to develop a writing plan I can carry on through the school-year even though I’ll need to adjust the time.

    I still have another very busy week of school, but I’m beginning to set some writing goals. My plan for the summer is to write 2-4 hours a day. I don’t like sitting for long periods of time, so I’m going to break the writing time into chunks of about an hour each. I like to exercise first thing in the morning and meditate while I’m on the treadmill. Then, after checking my email, I’ll spend the next fifteen minutes freewriting in my journal. By that timeI should be warmed up enough to work on a writing project (I haven’t decided which one quite yet.) Most of my writing will be done at home, but I also really like writing at Starbucks or Panera. I like the hum of acitivity around me.

    Something I really need to explore more is marketing. I have no idea how to research publishers in order to increase my chances. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I get things done when I have a deadline and an audience in mind. I wish I were more self-disaplined, but I’m not. I write because I like to communicate and connect with others, but I’m still trying to figure out just where I fit in the world of writing.

    I’m looking forward to getting to know other campers and offer them support and encouragement. I know this is going to be an exciting adventure for all of us!

  59. Sleep. I can cut out sleep from my schedule to have more time to write. I’m a school librarian and I find I look forward to the summer to catch up on my sleep. But now that I think about it, if I’ve lived this many months without sleep and haven’t killed anyone yet then I can continue doing without it for the next 3 months, right?

    I can write at the very start of my day. Instead of sleeping in late I can get up with my usual early morning schedule and sit down write. I mean, I will definitely make time to brush my teeth but then I’ll head straight to my writing nook.

    I like to have a writing nook. I have a designated space in my bedroom that usually has a pile of laundry on it but when I get that sudden spark of writing inspiration I clear that space and write away. It’s quiet. My family knows not to bother me when I’m there and it’s comfy…surrounded by my favorite things.

    I’ve told my children but they’re 3yrs and 6yrs old so I’m not sure they quite understand what “Mommy NEEDS time alone to write.” Thanksfully, I have my very supportive husband to help them understand and keep them at bay. He has made it a point to keep me writing as well. He believes in me more than I believe in myself sometimes and he’s vowed to keep me at the laptop.

  60. Given how today has gone (it’s almost 10pm and I haven’t written anything), I think I have a lot of work to do to make time. I want to try writing in the mornings, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to start that this year. Once school ends, I might try to get into a morning-writing-routine, and see if I can continue that in September. Mostly, though, I think I need to keep track of what I do with my time, since it always seems to run away from me.

  61. Choices, choices, choices. I always feel like I have to choose. Do I want to go to bed early, read, catch up on my Words with Friends? And now I have writing to throw in the mix. Attending the Teacher’s College Summer Institute would be a dream come true. I want to write. I know it will make me a better teacher. But I find my initial reaction is similar to that of some of my students: pure fear. So I’m hoping that this opportunity will push me past that point. I will choose to write for at least 20 minutes a day, and we’ll see where it takes me!

  62. 1. In the summer, I have more time! I can cut out a rerun of Friends or an episode of House Hunters. And let’s be real, I can do that during the school year, too!
    2. I am aiming for 20-30 minutes per day to start. And I need to clean off my desk so I can use that are.
    3. My desk! But I’d also like to try some cafes, etc during the summer.
    4. My husband and the dogs know my plans. 🙂

  63. When to write, when to write. After much contemplation and after reading so many great ideas, I listened to myself and have decided to set aside a minimum of 30 minutes each evening until school ends. Then I’ll have more flexibility in my schedule. But, because I know myself, I’m going to schedule a set time each day depending on what I know the day will look like and I’ll enter that time block into my calendar. Off to a great start. I can tell that I am going to learn so much this summer from this amazing community of writers.

  64. Being a night owl, my pattern is to do everything in the late evening. Making time to write is not the biggest obstacle for me. My problem is the inordinate amount of time I spend on writing (or thinking) to produce so little. One simple paragraph can take hours. I end up frustrated and stopping. So, my plan is to build in and follow a structure: write for a set time; do it every day; and just stop when the time is up.

  65. I am excited about this writing adventure. I am going to start small, so I’ll write 15 minutes each day this summer. I’ll reassess at the end of the summer. I’m going to find a nice, fluffy stretch of grass in the shade where I can catch a breeze as my writing spot.

  66. The distinction between ‘finding’ time and ‘making’ time is true! This summer, I’ll be making time to write every morning. I’ve learned that I do best if I get up early – just like school is in session – have a cup of tea, have my morning devotions, and then focus my attention on writing. I finished my PhD last fall, so now when people ask me what I’m going to do this summer, I say, “I’m writing a book.” Most seem to accept this as the next logical step. Hopefully this will pave the way and ease the sting when I say, “I’m sorry, I can’t (insert task I was asked to do) because I’m writing this summer.” We’ll see!

  67. I’m going make 15 minutes before bed each night to write. I’m teaching summer school during June and doing teacher trainings during July. I’m a percolator so my plan is to read the posts in the morning, stew on it all day then write at night.
    I have a half finished MG book that got shelved for a variety of reasons (my youngest son’s health chief among them) but most because of fear. I’m ready to face that fear and finish. I’m excited to start.

  68. Our first official entry and I almost forgot to do it on day one. Eeek! I plan on writing (from now on) first thing in the morning when both my husband and son are still sleeping. I always get up early and take our 2 dogs for a walk. When we get home the house is still quiet and they both collapse for a morning nap. I usually check my e-mail, Facebook & Twitter…..you know, the bare essentials 😉 Anyway, I plan on spending 15 minutes of this morning time writing. If I am on a roll then I’ll go a little longer. I will use the computer in my husband’s office since that screen is HUGE and my morning eyes are still a bit groggy. Good night! It will be morning soon so I’d better drag my butt to bed.

    1. That morning time will be my best bet as well. My wife goes to work fairly early, so I can get a few things done before the kids get moving. Coffee, laptop, and away we go! 🙂

  69. I was a bit overwhelmed/scared when I saw our first topic today. Finding time to write…hmm… I must admit that I do not consider myself a writer. However, to do so would contradict everything I teach my students in Writing Workshop: Everybody is a writer. So, I am ready to walk the walk, rather than just talk the talk. Thank you for helping push me to that idea!
    1. I will spend less time on the computer and in front of the television. Whether web-surfing or channel-surfing serves its purpose as a wind-down or break from the busy teaching schedule, they may not be the best solution. Writing will be a much better outlet for stress and frustration.
    2. I am not a morning person, especially during the school year. So, I will be writing in the evenings before I go to bed. My goal is to write 15-20 minutes three times a week. I also hope to log that time on a calendar or in a notebook.
    3. My hope is that I can do most of my writing in my bedroom, away from the distractions in the rest of the house.
    4. I have often found that I will not follow through with plans unless I tell someone or have someone to hold me accountable. So I am telling my roommate. She will definitely push me to stay focused and motivated.

    1. Heidi,

      I feel the same way as you. I WISH I was a writer but I have never considered myself to really be one. Yet I stand in a classroom day in and day out telling my kids to write and to write well!

      This should be a grand adventure…. :o)

  70. I plan to write in the early morning after breakfast in the den; each day about 15-20 minutes to start. May break and write mid-day again, maybe at the gym; will share with my mom. She’s my biggest fan and motivator.

  71. About six months ago I got a brand new Macbook Pro thinking if I had this bright new computer with all the cool bells and whistles, I would make the time to write. Sadly, my shiny new toy still sits in its shiny new leather case waiting for me to start writing something–anything. I am excited about the prospect of a push that Teachers Write! will give me. I am going to post my assignments to the blog I started two years ago. You know, the one I thought I would make the time to write on and didn’t? See why I need the structure and push from this writing group?

  72. Ahhh…it is four minutes until eleven (at night) here in Mexico and I still haven’t made a plan or written a single word!

    Although I only have this week and next of teaching, I will be in masters courses all July meaning that my work schedule won’t really slow down (except for a two-week break in June). I guess the good thing is that when work does resume I will (hopefully!) have a rhythm for my writing that will be easier to maintain.

    I suspect most (all?) of my writing will happen around this time; the magic time when both kids are asleep and I can pretend I have free time to devote to me. :o) I’m also trying to decide where to write (blog, live journal, evernote, paper&pen…) because I’m nervous about making this public but I would like to be able to share my ups & downs with my students.

    1. One of two done:

      1. What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write.
      Baking and surfing the ‘net. Both of these are “my time” hobbies that I often do
      after the kids are in bed. By cutting back on them I will have time to write.

      2. When you’ll be writing each day & for how long. Remember to be realistic. 15 minutes is fine to start.
      I will be writing at night. I am not a morning person (although I wish I was). I will
      likely do my writing at 10 p.m. or later) and I will put in at least 15 minutes/night.

      3. Where you’ll usually write. This can be different places on different days, depending on your schedule.
      I’ll be writing online. I need something that I can take with me so that if the
      opportunity to write presents itself (or inspiration overwhelms me!) I can quickly
      and easily access my writing space. If I find technology to be too distracting
      then I might go to paper & pen (but I dislike how slow I can transfer my ideas
      when I’m handwriting rather than typing).

      4. Who you told about your plans. Remember, sharing your writing plans with the people in your life helps to make them real and reminds your family & friends to give you that space for writing.
      My partner.

  73. I still have a week and a half of school left and then another week of training I am at or conducting, so I haven’t spent much time to analyze my daily schedule other than to add things to it during the hours of 8-5. I have never set aside writing time. Ever. I am not a morning person at all. It is all I can do to smile at my baby when he wakes at 6 a.m. every morning. I would never be successful if I set my writing time in the morning. The best time for me is after the two younger ones are down for the night. My husband works nights Monday through Friday, so that time is all mine! I will commit to 15 minutes with a goal of lengthening it to 30 minutes by the end of the summer.

    The toughest part is a writing spot. I just realized I will have most of the house to myself at that time! I will write actually write at my desk. I know that sounds a bit crazy. Wouldn’t someone normally write at his or her own desk? Not me. Mine is used by everyone else for all kinds of reasons during the day: store mail, hold the keys, coloring, crafts, TBR piles, to-do lists, etc.

    I haven’t told anyone my plans at this point. Of course, everyone in my family I need to tell is asleep or at work at this point, so I will start on this in the morning. I am also going to share with my coworkers my plan. They are a very supportive group of people when someone is embarking on a new endeavor.

  74. I’m still on the school clock for two more days, but I can start with 15 minutes a day, moving up to 30 min/day, 6 days/week. I think I need to give myself permission to not write 1 day/week. Starting Thursday, I’ll write in the morning, when my day isn’t cluttered yet with my summer to-do list.

    Thanks for the opportunity to write here and on the partner blogs!

  75. It was the curly spiral of a waft of home-cooking that would permeate my nostrils as I tried to extend the Sunday morning sleep-in. But it was of no use because what gently nudged me awake was the smell of comfort and the promise of mom’s delicious cooking, should I make it to the kitchen. She always heard the pitter-patter of bare feet and pajamas coming down the stairs and  was ready with the toasted brioches and Armenian white cheese on the table. There’d be a warm hug first with a stained and slightly wet apron, but the comfort matched the bed I just crawled out of and so I would close my eyes and draw a slow, deep breath.

    It was never quiet though. The pressure cooker would start hissing, the other pots would be boiling over, the water always seemed to be running as dishes clanged about in the overflowing sink. A whole week’s meals would be prepared in that kitchen on Sunday mornings; a testimony of my mother’s  dedication and love…

    Well, that’s a piece of my first try at Writer’s camp!

  76. I am in my office/classroom early, often before 6:00 a.m. During the school year, that time is filled with lesson-tweaking, editing student work, and preparing for my work outside of the classroom — classroom visits, coaching, meetings, etc. During the summer, I intend to use at least one hour of this early morning time to my writing. I’ve never been good about keeping this promise. It is one I make every summer. Distributed creativity (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1JZzuE54tM) may work here.

  77. I finish working out at a little after 6. For June, I can come home and write on the porch or in the yard while the weather is good. When it gets too warm, I still have my desk and, a fabulous discovery-the community college library opens at 6:30 a.m. What could be better?I think 15-30 minutes will work. If I get especially engrossed, my schedule until August is very fluid so I can keep at it as long as I like. I have told my husband and son and my workout partner. I may share with my friends at scrapbooking Friday night, as well.

  78. I have heard that if you can do something every day for 30 days in a row, it becomes an ingrained habit. I am sincerely hoping this is the case, because it will make it easier to continue with daily writing once school starts up again in September. However, our last day is the 21st, so until then, I am giving myself permission to poke my head in and get some writing done several times a week. Once school is out, I plan to write for 20-30 minutes daily. When I was in school, I loved writing, and dreamed of being published. Senior year in high school I lost the joy in writing, and have been struggling over the past 10 years to get it back. I have high hopes (and plans) for rediscovering the joy of writing so that I want to make it a priority!

  79. I am planning on making the time for writing first thing in the morning. I am a morning person and that is really the quietest time of the day for me. Once my family gets up, I am preoccupied or easily distracted by them. I think I will just set my alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier until summer begins. I really think that most of my time is sucked out by time on the internet. I think if I spent less time pinning, posting, and browsing, I could find time in my day without having to get up earlier but for now I am going to get out the time in the morning. I just converted downstairs into a book room with a window seat. I am planning on reading and writing there. I am planning on sharing my plans with my colleague, Kim. She and I support each other on our endeavors.

  80. Akkk! I forgot that this group started yesterday, and why? Because of the very reason of this mini-lesson. My decision of what to cut is a no brainer, though. Facebook games. How did I ever get sucked into them. One moment I’m playing one game of Word With Friends and before I knew it I had 20-30 games going. I’d no sooner play one move and that person would send a move back. I’ve found myself playing for hours a night. But no more. I’m now down to just one game with my sister.
    The rest is an easy decision too. I have a desk here in my kitchen, my own special place. My husband is wonderful about not bothering me when I’m here, so I know he won’t hinder me. As for the length of time each day, I know it will at least be 30 minutes, but more likely, if I get into what I’m writing it will be longer. Thank you for this opportunity!

  81. I plan to write before bed each night. I know I can do this because I used to do it. Then, I took on some extra responsibilities that wrecked my writing time. Now, I am giving up those extra responsibilities. I call it putting on my oxygen mask. I told my husband, and he supports my plan. In fact, he writes right across the room, and we smile at each other over our laptops knowing that we write ENTIRELY different things, in completely different ways, but we are both happy to be writing.

  82. What you found that you might be able to cut out of your schedule or cut back on to make time to write.

    I can definitely make time by not watching as much television. Also, I could write while my son is watching TV because he doesn’t care if I am not watching … He just wants me to be in the same room with him.

    When you’ll be writing each day & for how long. Remember to be realistic. 15 minutes is fine to start.

    I am going to start with 15 minutes a day and then work from there.

    Where you’ll usually write. This can be different places on different days, depending on your schedule.

    I will write in a variety of places like my classroom with my students, at home in the den, in my room, or whenever a thought comes to me … I will jot it down and write as much as possible.

    Who you told about your plans. Remember, sharing your writing plans with the people in your life helps to make them real and reminds your family & friends to give you that space for writing.

    Jerlean Noble and Lorena Swetnam

  83. Amid a cloud of dust I unearthed a small desk in the home office as a writing space – https://twitter.com/erniec/status/210434125323190273/photo/1

    Each day in the afternoon I will dedicate 30 minutes to writing.

    My immediate family is very supportive of this move since it means less baseball on the television!

    I will be seeing my teaching colleagues throughout the summer and will share this writing adventure with them too.

  84. I used to enjoy writing when I was younger, but I haven’t been a fan for a long time. I am an avid reader and take pride in watching my students grow as readers. My colleagues and I made a commitment this year to never ask our students to do anything we haven’t attempted ourselves. For the most part, I succeeded. When it came to writing though, it was a chore for me, while reading was and always has been a joy. I am hoping by committing to write for a minimum of 15 minutes every morning this summer, it will become something that I do….like reading or exercising.

  85. My schedule is full this summer, but I will find time to write everyday. As a morning person, my morning routines chores are too entrenched for me to rearrange, so I will try to write before bed every day. If my husband joins the golf club, I may end up with plenty of time to write.
    It is important to me to change my writing habits because I am changing my teaching position and will now be 7-9 Reading and English. Writing has to be a priority.

  86. 1) I’m on summer vacation so will write for a bit each day.
    2) 15 min daily at first to try this out.
    3) On my couch? Just getting started so we’ll see where I will like writing best.
    4) No one.

  87. 1. This summer will be pretty easy to write without having to cut much out. It’s once school starts back up that it will be a struggle!
    2. In June I will be writing right after my kids go to daycare before my other obligations. In July-August their nap time = my write time!
    3. I will write at my kitchen table most days. Lots of sunlight and quiet music 🙂
    4. I shared my writing plans on my blog (http://wp.me/p25OdG-3Y) and with my twitter community!

  88. I’m joining a week late, but am ready to start. I’m looking forward to joining this community. I plan to commit 30 minutes a day to writing first thing in the morning. I’ll write outside on my patio with a nice glass of iced tea by my side. Early morning is good for me because my husband will have left for work and my children will be sound asleep. It’s the quiet time that I crave. I’ve shared my plan with my husband and my kids and I know that they will honor the time. It’s me I have to worry about. I can always find work that needs to be done around the house or yard, but I’m committed to making time for writing. Thanks for providing this opportunity.

  89. I am also starting a week late, but am very excited to have a structured place to get ideas and to focus on writing. I have always planned to do something constructive about my writing, but have not made the time to work on it. I am really excited to have this opportunity to work on my writing. I teach 9th grade English and spend a lot of my time helping my students to come up with ways to get started when they have a writing assignment. Now I have to switch my thinking from do what I say to do what I do. I am ready for the adventure, but like you said a little nervous and scared, isn’t that how I feel with I am about to go on a new adventure, I think I am in the right frame of mind so… let’s get started.