Monday, July 5, 2010


By Karen Cino

It’s that time of the year again. Summer is officially here and no one wants to sit in the house behind the computer writing. You know just as well as I that we will find one excuse after the other not to sit down and write…especially not to do revisions.

Keeping this in mind, I came up with a Writer's Summer Survival Tote Bag. Pack your tote and keep it besides your pocketbook. Your tote should consist of the following:

1. Notebook

2. 2 Pens (This way there is no excuse that the pen ran out of ink.)

3. A bunch of ideas

4. Post it Notes

5. 2 water bottles – frozen

6. Chips

7. Sunglasses

8. Sunscreen

9. Beach Umbrella

10. Beach chair and blanket

I have left out the radio and ipod. Those two things are total distractions when writing. I decided to do a test “run” and see if it worked before I shared this with you. As I sit here, I can attest that the only sound I hear is the echo of the waves breaking at the ocean’s edge and the occasional helicopter going over head.

Now I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that there can be plenty of other distractions at the beach, like the sexy guy who put his beach blanket down about twenty feet from me and undressed down to his bathing trunks. And yes, I watched the whole time, just couldn’t resist.

But seriously, I was able to do revisions on four chapters of MYSICAL WONDERS—that’s about 100 pages without the phone ringing or the kids yelling Ma. (Would you believe that when I’m writing, they both forget how to cut Italian Bread and make a sandwich?)

I had a wonderful day at the beach…alone. My first time ever to the South Beach Boardwalk. And as I was packing up my gear, I can honestly say that I am thrilled to say I got everything on my agenda done.

In conclusion, it IS possible to get your work done during the hot summer months. All you need is a plan, your imagination and your Writer's Summer Survival Tote Bag.♥

Karen Cino is the President of the RWA New York City Chapter.  She writes women's fiction.  This summer, she plans to make much use of her Writers Summer Survival Tote.


  1. Karen,

    It was funny how I called you from the sands of Jones Beach on Saturday. I did the same thing. Under my umbrella, I revised three chapters. When I got stuck at a certain part that needed an addition, I took a walk on the beach, and when I returned, like magic, the creativity flowed. What a great working day with awesome breaks!

  2. Karen, What good advice for making time for writing and fun. Karen K.

  3. Oh I think for mr the beach would be too much of a distraction, but loved living vicariously through your beach trip!!!

  4. Great idea, Karen! I think my survival tote would have to include one other essential item: a babysitter! Tanya, I totally relate to the bit about getting up and taking a walk. Never fails that whenever I give up, shut down the computer and walk away, the Exact Right Idea pops straight into my head.

    Good luck everyone with the summer writing...

  5. Love this post. I spend most of my summer weekends up in Maine and writing at the beach is so distracting. Between the people watching and family's needs, I'm lucky if I can get a paragraph written. I've been more successful reading. Somehow while reading I'm able to tune everybody out. Go figure. Maybe I'll add earplugs to my list for writing attempts.
    : D

  6. Hey I started making my own sandwiches!!!