Back to School

When I was a kid, summer was my favorite season: 4th of July, family barbeques and reunions, my birthday, catching fireflies, and participating in our county’s fair through various 4-H activities.

However, as I got older, and especially now that I am out of school, I appreciate fall more and more. About a month ago, lured in by the back to school displays at King Soopers, I made my husband buy me new pens and pencils, explaining that I would be more motivated to complete my to-do list if it were written in purple and green as compared to black and blue. Ultimately, I feel motivated by that fall feel—Pumpkin Spice Lattes, working at Starbucks with bright-eyed college students, and hunkering down in my house with manuscripts stored up on my Kindle.

Since many of you are probably parents and are, therefore, enjoying some extra writing time now that the kids are in school, I thought I would share some specific motivational tips that inspire me during the fall.

  1. Enjoy a hot beverage. Coffee, black, is my drink of choice, but I also like the occasional cup of tea or the more-than-occasional cup of hot chocolate. I also read somewhere that if you put the cup on your face, the warmth does something to your endorphins to make you happy. No idea if that is true or not, but it feels like a mood booster when I do it. Plus, it pulls me out of email or editing for ten minutes or so and just lets me be creative or pray or review my list of things to do.
  2. Going to Starbucks or a local college. Usually, I see several college students reading or writing or studying, and I think, if they can push forward, so can I. And then I will see someone working on calculus or chemistry or some other god-awful subject, and I send up a prayer of thanks that the most stressful thing that I encounter throughout the work day are rejections or a particular difficult edit. Seriously, calculus? Who willingly takes a class like that?
  3. Talking walks. It was HOT in Colorado this summer, and I’ve heard we have more ninety degree days ahead of us, but I have really enjoyed the past few days where the temperature has dipped into the seventies. I like working outside on my balcony and taking walks to observe the changing leaves. I feel energized and like change is happening in me both physically (baby boy is growing!) and spiritually. God and I have had some wonderful conversations these past few days, and I have felt my relationship with Him maturing and becoming clearer in a lot of ways.

So what motivates you during the fall? Have you had your Pumpkin Spice Latte yet?

12 Replies to “Back to School”

  1. Although I’m limited to teas with honey (milk oolong my fav) due to my dairy allergies, and we home educate (so I have less time), the “back to school” routine is motivation enough. I have recently discovered two new apps for my iPad, which have motivated me to organize my non-fiction chapter book, “The Orphans Who Saved the World.” What are those apps?
    They are “A Novel Idea” and “Writer’s App”. Similar in setup, but the first a bit more intuitive.
    The cooler weather should motive me as well!

  2. Hi Sarah, If you like tea, become an afficinado and graduate up to trying Lapsang Souchon tea (no sugar no milk just tea) – let me know what you think of it? kind regards from sunny (82deg UK) Fred Hurr

  3. After twenty-eight years of homeschooling, this fall my last child joined the ranks of bright-eyed college students. For the first time in decades, fall means I can keep working full-time on my own pursuits. So, while I’m waiting to hear from you, dear Sarah, I’m working. BUT in celebration of this unfettered fall, I’m planning a trip to California and perhaps a writer’s conference, both in October, an unheard of month for cutting loose and traveling rather than hunkering down. It seems a good fall transition from one phase to another.

  4. I love the fall, so it doesn’t take much to invigorate me. We homeschool, so we have to push forward a lot. But I love your idea of having a coffee on a university campus. There’s something about all that thinking and learning that’s inspiring!

    1. Meghan, yesterday I saw a family doing some home school work in a Starbucks. I thought it was really cute. 🙂 I don’t know if I will home school or not, but I would love to spend time with my children in Starbucks, both working side by side. I think it wold be a neat bonding experience. 🙂

  5. I loved you post. I too have enjoyed the days that dip into the seventies. It has been so hot in Nebraska that we haven’t been able to do much. Fall is so beautiful, I love the crisp smells, and the cool nights. God bless you and your little baby boy.

    Glenda Parker

  6. Bless you and your baby, Sarah! (I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes!) I have yet to try working on my laptop at Starbucks, but I hope to have a day like that in the future …

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