This is a photo of my new summer office.
I am aiming for three mornings per week, without my children! When your kids are older it is easier to get to the beach because there is less to pack and carry.
Bringing your kids with you at all, is totally optional! Today I chose to leave them sleeping in their beds!
Summer office hours have begun, WooHoo!
My new summer job is working on my blog by writing much more than I have been. As a full-time elementary teacher, I work on my blog only part-time.
These part-time hours happen when I’m finished with work, shuttling kids to sporting events, dealing with shopping, dinner and maybe a little housework.
In other words, very little writing time.
So now, on my first day of summer vacation, I’m carving out more time to write my blog.
A change of scenery to Inspire Writing
I have decided that I can have a mobile office for the summer. I can bring my iPad and notebook wherever I choose. Since we are living on Long Island with its beautiful white sand beaches, I totally choose the beach!
Getting away from my desk and computer is refreshing. Sunshine, fresh air and the sound of the ocean can be both relaxing and reviving. Some extra walking is good for you as well. Sitting in front of a computer takes its toll on your back and midsection, a break is needed. Just leaving the house with the intention of writing inspired me in all sorts of ways. I read somewhere that ambient noise helps stimulate creativity, the crashing waves work for me! Physical activity, movement, a change of scenery and even sand between your toes can all help inspire your writing.
Memories from a Prior Life
For the beach, I chose to bring a Writer’s Notebook from a Columbia University course I had taken long ago. My iPad plus sand, sun and water didn’t seem like a smart idea, so I chose the notebook instead. My Notebook is from 1994 when I attended a summer Writer’s Institute with Lucy Calkins. On the first day of class, we were each given our own Writer’s Notebook. As teachers, we were learning to help our students to become better writers by writing ourselves.
Reading through my notes and stories from over 20 years ago was amusing. Some of the memories were great, others were cringe worthy, and some notes make no sense at all anymore. But hidden in those notes, I did have some good substance. I have memories, observations and stories from long ago. Little did I know that in 1994, I was writing future blog post material!
Leaving the screen for a notebook is a welcome change
I didn’t realize how much I missed writing on paper. While it is more efficient to just type your thoughts directly, there is much to be said for actual pen and paper. I can write all over the page and start new thoughts anytime and anywhere I want. I can circle, box, wiggle underline, write in calligraphy, make columns and flip to a new page at will. It is so different from my computer and keyboard – yeah! I can also sketch, which is how I got through much of high school and college. When there wasn’t anything important to write down from a lecture, I happily sketched. My biology notebook was beautiful, I drew everything! While I like to keep most of my life in digital format, a notebook is a welcomed inspiring change.
I was an hour late to my first day at my new summer job!
How can you be late to your first day at the beach you might wonder? The last thing I needed before I left the house with my trusty beach chair. The blue striped chair that has been hanging in the shed all winter long. I know it was there because I had to move it several times. Of course, the day I needed the chair, it was gone. I could have woken everyone up to interrogate them but that would defeat my purpose of sneaking out while they were still sleeping.
Stopping off at the store to buy a new beach chair was no big deal. Or so I thought at the time. I need to have exactly the right chair. My beach chair has to be one that reclines and the back needs to be tall enough to rest your head for a nap. A comfortable beach chair needs to be medium height off the ground. I hate when the chair is so low you fall the last few inches into the chair and can’t get back out of it gracefully.
After going to FOUR stores, I finally found just the right chair and I could head to the beach even if I was an hour late.
My new chair is an upgrade from the old one. I have a fancy foldout cup holder and a side bag for my ice cream money and Fitbit when I go for a swim. The chair is even topped off with a padded headrest.
Sometimes it’s okay when your kids take your stuff. Because being a grown up means you can go out and get new, even better stuff!
The funny thing is, I found the missing beach chair in the shed, buried under bikes where it had fallen. Oh well, now I have a better chair and a spare!
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What inspires your writing? Leave a comment, let us know!