Don’t let all that sunshine get in the way of your writing this summer. This is how I plan to keep up on my writing while the weather is nice.
I have a confession: I struggle to write during the summer.
I don’t think I’m the only one. With the beaches open, planned vacations and must-see summer festivals, it’s hard to step back from all this seasonal fun and write.
And let’s not forget the time we need to dedicate to summer reading clubs.
You’d think that longer days and sunny skies would be the motivation I need to continue my creative writing. But it’s easy to get distracted when the weather’s warm.
This summer, I’m doing things differently. And you should too.
We try to tackle our writing as if it were any other cooler season of the year. Instead, summer should be a time to switch up how we write—and what we write.
Here’s how I plan to actually write this summer:
Shelve That Epic Manuscript
You read that right. Take the third draft of your next great novel, place it in a drawer and close it. Don’t take a peak—not even one!—until September 1.
The pressure of completing a writing project that’s close to your heart is stifling. It makes you feel guilty for going outside and basking in the sunshine when you know you should lock yourself away in a dark room to dwell on the tragedies of your pages.
But summer isn’t the time to write a story with a heavy plot, dark themes and dreary settings. We have plenty of days the rest of the year to immerse ourselves in all that dismal.
And we both know that distance from your pet project makes the heart grow fonder.
Choose a writing project that excites you. Start a blog. Keep a journal. Challenge yourself to daily writing prompts. Whatever you want to author this season gets bumped to the top of your writing list.
I plan to write a comedic full-length play. I’ve been shelving it in the corners of my mind as I refine the manuscript I finished during NaNoWriMo. But a light-hearted story is the perfect fit for these hot days ahead.
What writing idea have you been tabling but are eager to write? Now is the time to write it.
When I lose interest in running—in other words, I’m dragging myself out the door to go run—I throw something new into the mix.
I buy new songs and add them to my running playlist. I buy a new running shirt. I find a new route and explore it.
It’s not that I don’t love to run. Sometimes I need to shake things up to remind myself why I love to run.
This is how you should approach your writing this summer. You love to write. You just need to give yourself another reason to do it.
So buy yourself new pens and journals. Add some inspirational flair to your writing workspace. Create a new playlist to listen to while you write.
A small change in your usual routine can make a big impact on how often you write.
Sometimes we need a fan base to lean on for writing motivation. And since we feel more social in the summer, it’s a great time to find like-minded writers and work together.
Join a local creative writing group or sign up for a creative writing course. While creative writing workshops don’t work for me, I know many writers who want honest feedback about their piece and desire the pressure to write more for next week’s gathering.
I plan to sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s like November’s National Novel Writing Month self-competition but instead of challenging myself to write a 50,000-word novel, I decide on how many words I want to write for any project I want to write.
And with Camp NaNoWriMo’s online community, I’ll have that social support when I want to throw down the pen and quit.
When it comes to writing, a little extra support can go a long way.
Take It to the Beach
Summer means being outside more. And since you probably don’t write outside when it’s cold outside, you probably don’t take your writing with you.
If you’re eager to not be cooped up inside but know you need to write a few pages today, take your writing on the go.
Write by the pool, at the park, on the beach. Stay close to home at write on your back patio or front porch.
This may mean writing by pen and paper for those who are used to writing via laptop or computer. And you may find writing longhand brings out a different side to your story.
The light’s great, the fresh air is easy to breathe and the surround sound of nature is a nice change of pace. Plus being outside and writing is like high-fiving two birds with one hand.
You’ll regret not writing outside by the time the autumn winds start blowing.
Write with the Sunrise (or Sunset)
One of my favorite things about summer are the longer days.
I usually run early in the morning, so the summer lets me enjoy the colors of the rainbow sunrise while I jog my nearby route. And at night, I can still read my book in bed by natural sunlight.
Longer days tend to make us more productive. How about making more use out of that extra sun time?
Choose to get up a few hours earlier before work or set aside a few hours at night to write. After a few days of early alarm clocks or phone reminders, you’ll find it easy to write with your extra daylight time.
Since I’m usually up before the sun, I tend to go into work early. This gives me time to write when I get home before I start making my dinner.
Because it’s summer, you don’t need to commit to this schedule every day. In fact, doing this three or four days a week can make a big impact on your word count.