We’re midway through July now. In some respects, this is a troubling month for me.

Firstly, there’s the weather. I can’t speak for anywhere else, but I’m from Scotland and it can fluctuate wildly. Thursday brought the sort of weather for lying in a hammock and listening to the Isley Brothers. I took the opportunity to walk to the seaside and enjoy a round of crazy golf and a trip on the road train. By Saturday, the rain was tipping down in the least Julyish fashion you can imagine.

Secondly, the daylight. Regardless of the weather, near-perpetual daylight does things to the brain. I find myself waking sometimes an hour or two before my alarm, which does nothing for my concentration.

Thirdly, it’s holiday season for many people. You’re out of your normal routine and writing might not feature as highly as it does during your normal day.

But there are ways to keep your writing flowing even through the least Julyish July. A gloriously warm day or a change of scenery might provide you with fresh ideas. I make it a habit to carry a pencil and notebook with me, and I recommend taking a sharpener as well. And if it’s practical, perhaps a 5am writing session would work for you, or at least give you an opportunity to catch up on your reading, and that can be as important as writing.

Just remember that if you’re writing about summer and you plan to interest a publisher in your work, it might be up to a year before you see it in print as lead times are months long. Right now, editors are planning for Halloween and even Christmas, and probably won’t take you on until the New Year. So if you have any festively-themed stories, this would be a prime time to dig them out, even if it seems a very long time away.

4 thoughts on “Julyish.

  1. Ouch the new year? I put my submission back a month to August because of the school holidays. It was bad planning on my part. I should have known I couldn’t perfect a synopsis while I had my daughter bouncing around. And unfortunately I don’t write well at night. So I decided not to write at all on their last week off. It was nice, actually.


    1. Yes, editors do plan surprisingly far in advance, then there are often delays on top of that, so a Christmas piece submitted in summer isn’t unusual.

      I hope you manage to complete your project in time.


  2. Thanks for the reminder of the early morning writing session. It is the summer sleep cycle and pen and paper could help that.
    Great incite for us to know the editors are such planners for their publications. It makes sense that they would be looking that far forward, and to balance things with the ‘most-hip’ or topical is the sign of an in touch editor with a good eye.


    1. I’ve never tried early morning writing myself, but I know it works for some folks.

      It is sometimes frustrating when you’ve been accepted and have to wait. I was notified of my first accepted piece in February 2013, but didn’t hold the book until September.


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