It seems that some people are already off on their travels for the summer.
There have been tweets and blogposts from glamorous-sounding European cities and far-flung mountain ranges. I can hear the suitcases and rucksacks being dragged from the tops of wardrobes, the snap of elastic as last year’s swimsuits are optimistically pinged into place (I wore that?!).
Other people, often teachers and/or parents, just sound weary. How many more weeks before the end of term? And others, those who are far removed from the academic year, just carry on, no holiday plans for them, just a vague awareness that there might be a promise of a lie-in some time in late August.
But summer is finally here in the UK where, for several years, we’ve experienced colder and wetter weather than we’re used to. The sunshine has arrived and I’ve noticed a change in my blog statistics: there’s an increase in visits later in the day and into the evening as if people are taking advantage of the warm weather and stepping away from their laptops and smartphones until the air temperature cools.
Holidays can play havoc with writing routines.
When I’m not teaching, I’m able to write – or, at least, the hours are available to me to write – 9am – 3.30pm while my children are at school. All that changes once the school bell rings for the end of term and writing becomes something to be squeezed into a noisy, family centred day. For me, the silence of an empty house is what I miss most. However, just saying this has made me realise that I owe it to myself to draw up a writing plan for the school holidays. Mornings, always the most productive time of the day for me but prime sleeping hours for young teenagers, will be when I will apply myself to notepad and laptop.
And what about my writing?
I haven’t mentioned my own writing for a while. This was the year that I aimed to submit to magazines, rather than competitions, in an attempt to become more published. I also submitted 24 poems to a pamphlet competition with the hope of publishing that – but, no joy. I won’t bore you with how many rejections I’ve received or where they’ve come from. Here’s a list of submissions I keep:
I hope you can’t read it too easily because I’d rather not give you all the ins and outs of where I’ve submitted to. At the same time, and I’m not sure why, I do want you to know that I’m trying! The pink highlights the submissions; acceptances are highlighted in yellow and faintly underlined in red are the rejections. Anyway, the year isn’t over yet! I was delighted to have two poems published in Domestic Cherry 3 and one in Under the Radar 11 - so 2013 isn’t a total washout so far.
I’m still writing,
filling up notebooks, using up ink cartridges in my printer, developing back and neck strain from sitting at my computer. Of course, I want to publish more. Of course I feel down about rejections at times but – who knows why? – I just keep going. Because that’s what you do, isn’t it, if you’re a writer, you just keep going, day after day, without holidays, without days off, whether the sun’s shining or not.
Wherever you are and whichever climatic season you’re experiencing, hope all goes well with your creative projects. Here’s to keeping going!