Summer brings a new set of scents, sounds, and sights, and yet with all the travelling, friends visiting, and extra responsibilities such as painting that fence or gardening, it is difficult to squeeze writing into the mix. Here are five ways I have discovered that help me stay on track in the summer:
1. Take a course to keep yourself motivated. Two that I have had a good experience with are the Writer’s Digest courses (www.writersdigestshop.com/writing-classes) and the summer version of NaNoWriMo (campnanowrimo.org) Another set of courses recommended by our member Dayna Mazucca is on the subject of creative nonfiction, and just for summer: www.creativenonfiction.org/online-classes.
2. Enter a contest, such as InScribe’s Fall contest. (inscribe.org/contests)
Other writing opportunities might include Chicken Soup for the Soul (www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/story-guidelines) and the thread of 1000 stories for Faith in Canada 150. (www.faithincanada150.ca/initiatives/1000stories)
3. Communicate with your writing group or other writers. I was part of a small group of writers on Facebook for a limited time. We exchanged writing for critique regularly. While it was intended to be temporary, it still provided much needed motivation and accountability to keep the pen to paper.
4. Attend a writers’ conference or even a single workshop. Saskatchewan’s “Festival of Words” in Moose Jaw comes to mind. (www.festivalofwords.com) I’ve attended several workshops over the years without actually spending the entire weekend there.
5. Summer travels or camping often awaken new thoughts. I keep a notebook beside me when we’re travelling to write down description of scenery, or of new tastes, new aromas, and so on. Later, I transfer these ideas to my computer to use in blogs, devotionals, or fiction stories.
Now it is back to watering the potato patch. I would love to hear of other ways you use to keep writing in the summer!
If Pam Mytroen could spend all day in her kitchen baking pies, brownies, and making turkey dinner for friends, she would. But Murray Pura once told her to write first and then bake—advice that she is trying to stick with these days, except, of course, when her grandchildren stop in for milk and cookies.