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When It’s Too Hot to Write! 6 Ways to Write Anyway

too hot to writeToo hot to write?

I understand.

Okay, I live within spitting distance of San Diego Bay. Which used to mean the weather was almost always if not great at least good. But like so many other places it’s getting hotter and hotter here as climate change kicks in in noticeable ways.

(Begin rant: And yeah, I understand that any particular rise in temperature and humidity can’t be directly attributed to climate change. But darn it I’ve lived here most of my life and I know the weather has gradually shifted. As far as I’m concerned it’s mostly climate change mostly driven by fossil fuels and it’s way past time we started doing something serious about it. So I drive less and recycle more and bemoan the fact that our current administration is in climate change denial. Or maybe they really do prefer  profits and getting reelected to continuing human and other life on this planet. You can make a positive difference at Treespond.com and feel good about it too. End rant.)

I live in a duplex that’s darn close to 100 years old and although it’s charming, it’s lacking really good insulation – wasn’t needed for most of its life. We also paint the roof black, which is insane – white or silver would probably lower the inside temp by several degrees. Turns out white roofs used universally or even in large numbers could make things worse. On the other hand, they also do save energy; like so many things it’s a mixed bag.  And it’s the inside temperature that gets in my way. My office is often in the low – mid 90s for a good part of the day.

When it’s too hot to write start early.

The most obvious thing is to write in the cool of the early morning. Which I do anyway, so it’s easy. Fans help.


I even have  portable air conditioner I’m going to break out again. It helps and it’s so noisy it drives me mad. A nice, new because they are quieter window air conditioner may be in order.

When it’s too hot to write, start late and use fans

If you hate getting up early, try writing late at night after things cool down a bit. Add fans if you don’t have central air. Amazing how creating or making use of a breeze can help you feel cooler.

When it’s too hot to write, write elsewhere

Air conditioned coffee shops can be great answers to hot and humid temperatures. They even work well for those who hate getting up early. Libraries are another place to cool down and stay creative. Most communities offer information on where seniors can cool off. Even if you’re not that age, they may be happy to have you there. Check your local paper or call your local city hall for info. Dialing 211 can get you all sorts of local information.

When it’s too hot to write, hydrate

You know the drill – stay hydrated. Plain water may be the best way to hydrate and avoid a ton of sugar in juice and sodas. Sometimes I can actually feel my body responding to a glass of water.

When it’s too hot to write, get wet

Get wet! Okay, you can’t write while you’re standing in a shower, or wading in a pool or lake or along a shoreline. Getting wet, however, will cool you off and let you get some thinking and writing done – just remember to dry off before you drip on your computer. Even a shady spot in a park with some breeze can make all the difference in the world.

When it’s too hot to write, write less, but keep writing

Pick and choose more carefully what you write. Make sure you’re writing the stuff that pays and the stuff that’s close to your heart. Postpone other projects until it cools off some.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Nicole Pyles

    My bad advice is to write where you can! I sneak write at work and will write on my phone (less hot than a laptop). Climate change is very very real. And we have to write around it.

  • Gordon Glave

    Welcome to the hot topic of the Tropics. Perhaps we should enjoy the heat whilst we can because in a little while we will need to burn these air conditioners (A/C’s) for warmth come winter.
    As usual Anne’s subject matter is just-in-time; I too have been battling the heat and the cost of cooling a space to write. I too am using the heat as a convenient crutch for not writing. Now, if only I had an excuse for the many other months.
    If Trump’s proposed Wall is anything like Writer’s Block then people south of the Border are doomed.
    WARNING- Do not rush out and buy an older model of air conditioner. No matter how ‘cheap’ the price is. If you do, the operating cost of older units will hurt you badly and there will be no resale value on the hunk-of-junk you are left with in the end.
    Technology has caught up with the A/C industry which has not seen new technology since the 1950’s. Any savings in the cost purchase-price of an old unit will be devoured by the energy cost to operate it.
    Now, along comes the Inverter System -a little bit of new technology with a feature that reduces the cost of energy used by 30% to 50%.
    Inverter Technology converts the input power from Alternating Current (Another type A/C) to Direct Current (D/C); the power used to drive the units motor. You won’t see any difference on the outside of the unit but on the inside the system saves a lot of money. For more details cut & paste
    The bottom line is, whether you are installing a ‘Window Unit’; Mini Split System; ‘Central System’ there is a new Inverter Equivalent model whose savings will pay for itself in no-time.
    That’s cool savings!
    This is not a promotional piece for any manufacturer, just free advice from an ‘Old A/C Man’.
    Meanwhile, I am off to purchase another fan because it is still cheaper than an A/C unit.
    Be Cool
    Gordon

    • Ah Gordon, good to hear from you as always. Looking up inverter air conditioners… not cheap. Over time I suppose they’d save… are they any quieter than the older cheaper kinds?

      • Gordon Glave

        Hi Anne
        A noisy air conditioning unit usually fits into one-of-three categories-
        1) An ‘old clunker’ with old, worn bearings or other mechanical ailments.
        2) Something is obstructing the internal fan.
        3) Restricted airways after the evaporator fan.
        To better understand how air becomes noisy- turn on a vacuum cleaner without any attachments; note the noise level. Then refit the attachments and notice the vacuum immediately gets louder.
        Physically restricting air’s pathway creates a louder noise.
        Short answer- Yes! A new Inverter Unit will be quieter; The Inverter Mini-Split is quietest, so too is an Inverter Ducted System but this is more expensive. Your Inverter Window Unit is a little more noisy and less expensive. More noise, greater expense; higher operational costs- all trade offs of keeping cool.
        Clean the unit’s ducts and fins inside the room and that should quieten things down. To completely avoid noise a new Inverter Mini-Split Unit is whisper quiet and you will see only a small section indoors.
        Today there are electric fans on the market with water vaporizing systems in the path of their airflow; they blow a fine mist of water into the room, this lowers the temperature but there is a negative here too. Be careful of misted water coming in contact with paper (books) and your electronics (laptop, etc).
        Be cool
        Gordon

        • You’re cool, Gordon… I will follow your suggestions… also I’ll leave the misting outside.

  • My equally old house has radiators so there’s no ductwork for central air, and the large original windows all open on hinges, like doors. The windows are the main architectural feature of the house, so I suffered every summer. They I realized the addition, the dining room, has ugly canopy windows that are wide enough to fit a big window unit. So I had one permanently built it. (I saved the window in case anyone ever wants to put it back.) I only run the AC when it’s hot or super humid. Today it’s about 80 and a little muggy, so I don’t have it on.

    Before I had the option of turning an air conditioner on I had to get creative, too. It was pre-wifi then so I had to work from home. I would stay up late with windows open and fans blowing cooler air in, but the windows are almost as large as doors, too, so I couldn’t leave them open all night. So I closed them when I went to sleep, then as soon as he sun was up again I opened them to let in cool air and let out hot air until it warmed up outside. Then I closed all windows and drapes and guzzled ice water, sat in front of a fan, and did whatever I could to cool off. It’s why I hate hot weather – and why I was always cranky in the summer.

    I hope your heat wave is over soon. And remember to pace yourself and take a lot of cooling breaks!
    Paula Hendrickson recently posted..Copywriter & Playwright, too?My Profile

  • It’s hot in Missouri too, though today has been quite a bit cooler. We also get really ridiculously humid! Thanks to a new window AC, I did get a giant book revision done. Since that was during the worst of the last heat blob, it was really nice to have a reason to stay inside.
    Elizabeth West recently posted..Sorry, I’ve Been Away Fighting For Your Rights and Let’s Talk About RevisionMy Profile

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