Summer Vacation: A Writer’s Guide

Summer brings new places and new routines. With our first group challenge completed, the writing routine may look a little different too.

It’s important to take advantage of times of transition and different paces of life to bolster our writing.

The most important thing is to keep writing.

Find a writing routine that works for you, your interests, and the unique challenges of your summertime schedule. Some will want to continue with the pace they set during Write 100. Others will take a break from the daily routine. It’s important to find what works for you and is best suited to your own writing journey.

Nurture the habits you’ve cultivated during your Challenge. You’ve worked hard to build your endurance and commitment over these last few months. Use your summer to set yourself up for further success while also capitalizing on the fresh ideas and experiences that a change of pace naturally brings.

Here are just a few ideas of how you can make the most of your summer writing time.

Write something new.

Try out a form or genre that intrigues you. Work on a project other than the one you just spent 100 days developing. Try your hand at an idea you’ve been keeping in the back of your mind for ages. Take a piece into the revision stages and spend time developing it throughout the summer. Summertime is a great season for exploring new ideas and opportunities.

Treat yourself to a writing retreat.

Pick a day or two and dedicate it to writing. Whether you actually leave town to find your writer’s paradise or channel a staycation for your retreat, try dedicating a day or more to your writing. Get in the zone. Push yourself to focus on writing for an extended length of time.

It can also be great fun to gather fellow writers to join you on your retreat. There is great camaraderie, inspiration, and accountability in sitting in a room of fellow writers all hard at work.

Take your writing on the road.

Do you have a vacation planned this summer? Going somewhere brand new? Somewhere familiar? Take your writing with you. Use your different environs as an opportunity to discover fresh material. Write about your adventures and the places you visit. Observe the experiences of interacting with different places, different people, and different cultures.

If you’re staying at home this summer, travel around to different locations in your town or city. Try writing in more unconventional places than you usually gravitate towards.

Learn something new.

Pick a topic and become an expert. Some of the biggest breakthroughs for my novels-in-progress have come during lectures, conversations, or readings where I learned a concept, idea, bit of history, etc. I hadn’t heard before. Challenge yourself to learn something new this summer. Research something you need to know for your writing, or pick something completely different. Whether or not you end up incorporating what you learn into your current project you may return to your newfound knowledge later on. What’s more, we should always seek to keep learning. It cultivates curiosity, which is vital for the writing life.

Summer is also a great opportunity to learn about improving your craft while connecting with other writers. Many writing workshops, courses, and conferences take place during the summer months (or following not too long after). Search for opportunities in your area and take advantage of them. Check with your local library or bookstore to find out if they host a gathering of writers offering feedback.

Participate in Camp Nanowrimo

For those who want another challenge for their summer, Camp Nanowrimo is just around the corner. It takes place during April and July, with the summer session beginning next week. A more laid back version of the November Nanowrimo, Camp gives writers the opportunity to set their own word count goals and participate in the community. Although I’ve not yet given the full Nanowrimo a go, I’ve been a part of Camp a few different times. I’ve found it to be a great way to propel myself towards finishing a project.

So soak in the sunshine, pull out your notebooks, and enjoy some summertime writing!

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