School’s out for the summer! Are you daydreaming about pool days, dripping ice cream cones, beach trips, good books, camping and an endless span of time to do whatever you please?
Oh, wait. We’re grown ups now.
For most of us, summer may not mean two empty calendar months, but it does signify the start of a new season.
As adults with jobs, families and responsibilities, we likely haven’t experienced the joys of a true summer vacation for many years, but we can still look at this summer as a blank slate of possibility when it comes to writing.
Let this summer be a time of experimentation. Allow these next few weeks and months to be a creative playground to find new inspiration, dedicate time for your work in progress or start a new project.
Your summer writing to-do list:
1. Write in a new space
There’s nothing like removing yourself from your normal writing space to give you fresh perspective and new inspiration.
If you already have a vacation for the summer planned, great! Try to set aside time each day of your vacation to write — even just a few minutes.
If you’re staying close to home, you can change up your space by taking your writing outside, sitting in a different room of your house or checking out a local coffee shop or coworking space.
2. Plan an at-home writing retreat
No exotic vacations planned for the summer? No problem.
Plan an at-home writing retreat. A DIY writing retreat can be as simple as setting aside a full afternoon with no distractions to write in your own house.
3. Participate in a summer reading challenge
You know how they say the best way to become a better writer is to be a voracious reader?
It’s the truth. The more you read, the more you expose yourself to different writing styles, voices, genres and authors.
Back when you were a kid, you probably participated in your local library’s summer reading challenge. Why not complete a summer reading challenge as an adult?
Check in with your local library; many offer summer reading challenges for both kids and adults.
4. Join a writing group or find a writing partner
Need accountability when it comes to writing? Consider joining a writing group or developing a relationship with a writing partner.
A writing group can provide encouragement, ask questions and hold you accountable to your writing goals.
A one-on-one writing partner is great for workshopping projects, working through specific problem areas and providing general support for one another.
5. Clean up old files to find new inspiration
If you’ve been writing for a long time, you likely have lots of just-started pieces and half-written drafts saved on your computer or tucked away in a notebook.
Sometimes, taking space from an old idea is just what we need to come back to it refreshed and inspired to start anew.
Spend time this summer reading through and cleaning up old files, notebooks and folders; you may just find your next great idea!
6. Start a blog
You’re still not blogging? It’s time to get started!
Blogging helps you build a personal brand, and can lead to valuable connections and new opportunities. It also helps you improve your own writing skills.
7. Find new blogs to read
One of my biggest sources of inspiration is through other people’s blogs and writing.
Finding new blogs to read can be challenging — where do you even start? — but browsing our list of 100 Best Websites for Writers will keep you busy, entertained and informed for quite some time.
8. Refine your personal brand
Summer is the perfect chance to dedicate a little bit of time to further developing your unique personal brand as a writer through social media.
Our guide to Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat should help.
9. Pitch a guest post
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your website, build your brand and get more eyes on your writing is by guest posting on other popular blogs and websites.
Make a list of blogs where you’d love to see your work, research their submission guidelines and craft a pitch to send their way. Better yet, find a website that also pays for guest submissions and make a little extra money on the side, too.
10. Plan ahead
Want to amplify your writing in the months ahead? Use summer as a time to plan for the future.
- Applying for a writing residency
- Finding a formal writing retreat to attend
- Registering for a writing conference
- Entering a writing contest
It’s time to change your mindset. Summer may not hold the same meaning as it did when we were kids, but we can still use these next few months to take our writing to the next level. Let the summer of creativity begin!
Tell us about your writing plans for the summer in the comments below!