Summer is the season when everything seems to get in the way of living your best writer’s life. There are outdoor events, vacations, wrangling schedules (particularly for working parents!), and the general desire to make the most of the best weather you’re going to have all year. Here are some tips to keep you on track no matter where you are in your creative process.
1. More Daylight = More Writing Time
The winter months may be more productive for you when you are staying indoors and filling your time with writing and revision. However, the summer months offer the most flexibility. You are more productive when there is more natural daylight in your workspace. Use those extra hours in the summer to get up an hour earlier and pack in some quiet space writing before you have to run off to work or prepare the kids for camp. For those of you with more free time because your circadian rhythms adjust during the summer months you can stay up later and soak up that post-9:00 p.m. sun that can be a boon in the summer.
2. Incorporate Travel into Your Work
Those vacations can really get in the way of writing. You could be traveling with children or backpacking and traveling light. The easiest way to make sure that you are making the most of your vacation is to buy a couple of small journalist’s notebooks. You know, the kind that flip open and you can fit in a pocket? You can jot down notes quickly and easily in these notebooks and write down details that you may forget in the hustle of returning home. Authors often find great setting details from a place they’ve never been. If you are working on a nonfiction piece you can use the challenges of travel to illustrate a piece of advice.
3. Marketing Made Fun
Do you already have a book that you are trying to market? There is no better way to engage with new audiences than to participate in unique events. Street fairs, block parties, festivals, parades these are all places where you can get your book seen. You may not see immediate sales from these events but if you are strategic you become associated with whatever you are writing about you become part of that culture. Have a high-fantasy novel? Get thee to the Renaissance Faire! Have a business strategy book targeted at high performers? Set up a branded table at a marathon!
If you have the free time and a little extra money summer is peak season for writing workshops. These are typically application based and many require travel. Writers are separated into genre and a visiting faculty will work with you directly on your work. The most popular workshops have very famous faculty and are in exciting locations. There are also online workshops that offer cool collaborations for the budget minded or for writers unable to travel. Writing workshops aren’t just about writing! They are about building your community of fellow writers, networking, and immersing yourself in the culture of writing. Most people find that they are regenerative and supportive experiences. Shaw Guides has an exhaustive list but if you’d like to curate your list on your own you can start by asking your local college or university’s creative writing department.