Welcome to the dog days of summer. On the east coast of the U.S. it’s been a sizzlingly hot summer with heat wave after heat wave keeping people indoors to escape the 90 degrees plus temperatures. But writers must write everyday despite the distractions of the oppressive heat, kids coming in and out of the house, and vacation travel. I’m a writer, so I can tell you first hand that it can be challenging to stick to a daily writing schedule when everyone around me is in fun, vaction mode. I realized that if I’m going through these challenges, there must be other writers out there who are finding it hard to keep their butt in their chairs and write during summer break. To help both of us out, I’ve come up with a list of seven creative tips that you can try to see if they help you boost your writing production this summer:
1. Connect some fun rewards to your daily word count goals. It’s like a drinking game, but instead of doing shots you’ll be writing pages. Let’s say your daily writing goal is 2,000 words. Set up a small reward for every 500 words you write. You know yourself, so you know what rewards will motivate you to be as productive as possible. Make it fun and keep it light. (Avoid using food as a reward because then I’ll have to write an article about weight loss for writers. . .)
2. Keep your writer’s notebook handy wherever you go. Make it a point to take notes and make observations wherever you go. Capture snippets of dialogue that you heard when you were eavesdropping on a nearby conversation, take notes about historic places you visit, write about new foods that you try, or new people that you meet. Take it all in because you never know what will inspire your next story or article.
3. Participate in a writing challenge or contest
National Novel Writing Month is still a few months away, but there are many other opportunities to participate in a writing challenge or contest. Here’s a few links to some summer creative writing contests:
4. Find a writing partner
Having a writing partner can help both of you to boost your productivity. Enlist the support of a writing buddy and share your goals with each other. Not only will this inspire you to stick to your goals, you’ll feel good about helpin your friend reach her goals.
5. Scout out some new writing locations
Don’t stay in your house staring at the same wall all of the time. Get out and find some alternative spots to write. Find a park bench, sit on the grass and write, find a table in the library, a coffee shop that’s not too loud, or your car. I heard from another writer that she would take her laptop to her car to write in order to escape the chaos and noise in the house. Sometimes a new location will spark new energy and creativity to your work. At the very least it will keep you from getting bored with your writing desk at home.
6. Take a writing class
Take a writing class from your local university or community college. You can also take an online writing class or workshop. Either way, taking a class is a great way to force yourself to write, and you get the advantage of having the instructor’s feedback on your work.
7. Be accountable for your writing goals
How often do we set goals and then after a few days blow them off? What if you had someone who would hold your feet to the proverbial fire and expect that you are going to do what you said you would do? A writing coach can do that for you, or an accountability partner can also fulfill that role.
*Bonus Tip: Use the summer to inspire your writing
Whether it’s the wildfires in the west, drought in the midwest, the heatwaves, interesting news stories, a visit to a new, or exotic location for summer vacation, let the summer season inspire your work in some way.
If you think you might benefit from working with a writing coach, please feel free to contact me. I am putting together a writing productivity program that will kick off this fall. If you are interested in really accomplishing your writing goals, send me an email and we can make that happen.
Please leave a comment with your favorite tip for kick-starting a summer writing project.
Evelyn Bourne is a writer, blogger, spiritual coach and artist. Evelyn is a heart-centered writer who is passionate about her craft. She loves showing business people how fresh, relevant content can elevate their brand and increase sales. The proud mother of three daughters, Evelyn is also a vegetarian, fine chocolate loving Yogini.
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