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When It's Too Hot To Write aka Dog Days of Summer

I know, it sounds silly, right?

How can it possibly be too hot to write?

It's been 94 degrees outside all week. Which means in my house, well I was never very good at formulas, so let's just call it hot as hell. For anyone wondering, because I live in Maine, A/C is not really standard up here. Most people don't have it, so when it gets hot like this, the tiny inventory at the local hardware store is gone in seconds.

Fans only manage to blow the hot, humid air around.

Hot, humid air makes it hard to breath. Makes it hard to do anything really. I get home from work (Air conditioned btw) and step into the oven that is my house. It immediately saps every ounce of will I had, and that grand plan to sit and write for an hour....gone. My goal for the next four hours is to move as little as possible.

And even if I did somehow manage to pull a bit of willpower from some place deep inside, the heat has turned my children a cross between a WWF wannabe and Simon Cowell. And if by some other miracle, the boys have found something quiet to do for five minutes, I will sit down at the dining room table (because my office is on the second floor and heat rises, so no frickin way) and inevitably, I feel the hot breath of 95 pound dawg on my leg.

This heat wave is supposed to break this weekend. I sincerely hope so. My word count has suffered a major blow and even though I have an outline, know where my story is going, and have the desire to write this book, Mother Nature has decided I apparently need some down time.

Now if I could just have it by sipping umbrella drinks on a white beach somewhere instead of standing in front of my open freezer letting all the cold air out.

How about you? What brings your writing to a complete standstill? Share your hints or strategies for pushing through the things you can't control.
Lee Bross

Lee lives her happily ever after on the coast of Maine where she has written Tangled Webs, her historical YA debut, and fantasy YA books Fates and Chaos under pen name Lanie Bross. She also writes contemporary books for New Adult under the name L.E. Bross, debuting with Right Where You Are.

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  1. I've lost power before in the height of a New Orleans summer, and it ain't pretty. Aside from copious amounts of alcohol, never underestimate the power of pure mint extract on the temples to cool you down. It's a miracle elixir, and I even have some in my hurricane survival kit.

  2. Wow, I can't imagine trying to write in that heat. But then I'm Irish and we physically shut down if there's any sort of temperature rise. (Rain now, I can tell you all about rain - you think Eskimos have a lot of words for snow, ask an Irish person about rain).

    Stress destroys my ability to write. If I'm worried about something, the ideas may be there, but the ability to concentrate on anything (other than snacks) for more than a few minutes is absent.

  3. Oh wow, I hate hot, humid days :( Maybe you could go to your local library and write. That's what I did when our air conditioning went out for about 4 days in August. I thought I was going to die. I hope it cools down for you so you can get to writing again :)

  4. The heat definitely shuts down my ability to write and think. I do most of my writing on a laptop, and the spots on the keyboard where my wrists rest get way too warm during summer days, so that adds another layer of disinterest.

    Aside from that, not having a quiet place to think makes it hard for me to write. if I can't focus and center myself on the just doesn't come out of my head.

  5. PS: and best of luck with the heat - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you for a cooler weekend.

  6. There is only one solution to this problem:

    Send the hubs out to buy a private jet, pack up the kids and the dog, and fly to my air conditioned house. My hubs, kids, and dog will entertain your hubs, kids, and dog while we run writing sprints in the backyard sipping mojitos.

    Or, you can fly to Alaska.

    Your choice.

    (I vote for my house!)

  7. I feel you. It's hard to write in the heat. I turn on a fan and give it my best shot--it's all I can do LOL.

  8. Why is this a universal truth about dogs? All that fur and body heat, but they insist on smashing up beside you and aiming hot, stinky air in your general direction. Seriously. WTF.

  9. Heat. I totally agree. And my bedroom (aka. my computer room) is above the garage, and comes complete with really bad ventilation from the AC.... (And heater... making for HOT summers and COLD winters, if I want to spend all my time in my room.) (Thus the reason I need a laptop, so I can travel to the basement.)

    This summer has been unbearable. Just the other day my room reached 89 degrees. I'm a bit farther south, so my blood is a little thinner, I'm sure, but my skin isn't. I could sweat in a freezer.

    Oh yeah, so heat and writing don't mix for me. When I'm hot, I get lazy.

  10. Ack, I hate it when it's too hot to do anything at all. I'd second the suggestion to go to the library, or hit a Starbucks or Panera. Then you've got (iced!) coffee AND A/C :)

  11. I would love to, but we have no Starbucks or Panera and the library closes very early. (Yeah, I live in a town of 2500, so there isn't a lot of choices unless I want to drive for an hour!)

  12. Too many distractions can kill me. I've recently started to write full-time until I find work and the t.v. is oh so enticing.

  13. Ditto. Here in Japan we hit 40 celcius yesterday (105 F). The sad part is I'm in the North. We're not supposed to get that hot! I've lived here for 2 years and never turned on my AC. I gave up and used it yesterday.

  14. Great post. I completely agree - heat (btw, I'm in Massachusetts and have been suffering through the same heatwave. Thank goodness it broke today).

    Another writing deterrent is a messy house. Even if the mess isn't in the room I'm working in, I can't shut it out. No matter what I do, the mess calls to me, begging to be cleaned. Solution - try to remember to clean up before bed.


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Item Reviewed: When It's Too Hot To Write aka Dog Days of Summer Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Lee Bross