We’ve just had the summer solstice, and if we’re lucky we Brits are still in with a chance at a few more weeks of sunshine. But how can we continue to work on our writing when the weather is constantly tempting us outdoors?
Here are my suggestions for how to keep writing during the summer!
Maybe your days are filled with work and your evenings are filled with play, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in some morning writing. Take advantage of long days and bright mornings by setting your alarm an hour or two earlier than usual and getting your writing done before you start anything else. Not only will you have accomplished something right at the beginning of the day, you’ll have woken up your creativity too, and this could keep you inspired all day long!
Embrace the outdoors
If outside is where you really want to be, then go! You might feel that it’s impossible to get any work done away from your desk or computer, but writing in a new location and in a new medium (ie: with pen and paper rather than on a screen) is a great way to give yourself a fresh perspective and mix things up a bit. Whether you head to the park, the beach or a local public garden, set aside some real time there for writing and see what a difference a change of scene and the sun on your back can make!
If you really can’t concentrate on your writing when it’s sunny outside, then make reading your priority. Chances are you are anyway – after all, who doesn’t love relaxing outdoors with a good book? On those long, lazy summer days, sometimes you can only muster the energy to flick through a book that someone else has already written, and that’s fine. It’s OK to take a break once in a while, and all the time you spend reading also doubles as valuable writing research (even when it feels like a holiday!).
Of course, it’s not just books that are good for writing research; so is living. What better excuse could there be to go on a trip abroad than as research for your novel? And even if you aren’t writing anything remotely travel or summer-related, simply getting out of the house and breaking your normal routine can really liven up your work when you do eventually sit down to write. So get out there, have some new experiences and soak up the summer. Just make sure you always carry a notebook with you so that you can write any time inspiration strikes.
When you’re surrounded by tempting summertime distractions, setting deadlines could be your salvation. Whether you set daily or weekly word count targets, or focus on writing competition closing dates, having deadlines that you simply must meet can really keep you on track. And if you know you’re going to end up abandoning your writing projects for a month or two, then picking a definite date for your return is an excellent way to make sure your writing doesn’t lapse for longer than it has to.
Summer can bring with it fantastic feelings of happiness and freedom, so make sure you store them up for when the nights draw in and you find yourself falling into a rut. No matter how focused you are during this season, it is a great time to recharge your batteries in preparation for the months of more concentrated work ahead.
I hope this helps you to keep on writing throughout the summer. Happy holidays!
Have you managed to finish your book? Take a welcome summer break, and then contact me to discuss taking your manuscript to the next level!