Parenting – Planning Your Summer

sharonwotrhead.gifThe Parent-Writer: Strategies for Success
By Sharon Miller Cindrich

It’s time to start figuring out how you’re going to handle your kids, your schedule and your blossoming writing career this summer. Between trips to the pool, backyard barbecues, little league practices and camping retreats, you may be wondering how you’ll balance a house full of kids buzzed on s’mores with your deadlines and inspirations. With a little forethought, it can be done by keeping these ideas in mind.

Check with your rec
In our area, the local recreation department offers tons of summer programs FREE of charge – from supervised playground hours for little ones to extra math and reading practice. These workshops and classes are worth their weight in a little free time for mom and dad to get that writing done. Look to your community center or school district for fun, educational and FREE activities that help give your summer structure, help you map out work time and are kind to your writing budget.

Consider a writing vacation
Forget the dude ranch and the Alaskan cruise; build a writing getaway into your summer plans to help your progress. Seminars and conferences on writing are offered at universities each summer, and the cost of instruction can be written off as a business expense. Even a weekend retreat at a friend’s cabin or an overnight at a cheap hotel without the kids can act as your “Spa Scribble.” Pack your writing gear, some comfy clothes, candles or music to set the mood and bubbles for a deep soak to soothe your writing spirit.

Stay portable
Don’t go anywhere this summer without something to record your thoughts – be it pen and paper, a tape recorder or your laptop. Summer adventures offer fodder for seasons to come, and you never know when inspiration will strike.

Use the light of night
Take advantage of long daylight hours, and plan an evening period of writing each week in the solitude of your garden or on your deck with a glass of lemonade. Make sure to string some cool summer lighting nearby in case you get carried away in the flow as the sun sets.

Summer camps, beach vacations and home improvements can be that much more satisfying when you’ve balanced your home and family needs with the demands of your writing life.

E-Parenting, Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids by Sharon CindrichSharon Miller Cindrich is a freelance writer whose work has been published nationally in magazines and newspapers around the country including The Chicago Tribune, Parents Magazine, and The Writer. She is a Contributing Editor at FamilyFun Magazine and writes a bimonthly humor column for West Suburban Living Magazine in the Chicago Suburbs. She is a regular contributor to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lifestyle section and Metroparent Magazine. Her book E-Parenting: Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids is due out from Random House at the end of the year. Read more about Sharon at

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