Summer Break: The Boost Your Writing Needs

Sunday, June 02, 2013
This summer, take time to smell
the roses and recharge your writing.
When you were ten, summer break represented a glorious stretch of unstructured free time. Not so as an adult, but even a writer and a Mom can reap the benefits of a summer break attitude.

Take a Break
First things first, actually take a break. This is especially important if you are someone who is used to finding writing time every day. Take a few days and don’t write. We just spent 4+ days in Chicago. My word count for those days? A big goose egg, and I didn’t miss it one bit. Given how much I love my work, this told me I needed the break. Sometimes we get so focused on how to work writing in that we don’t always remember to take a break to recharge.

Take Stock
While you are taking this break, take stock. As you get ready to start writing again, what are you looking forward to and what are you dreading? Recently, I was offered a new contract that would mean steady income. As I put off signing, I realized that I didn’t want to go back into that field. During your time off, if there is something you are happy to leave on the desk, maybe you need to replace it with another kind of writing. Consider how you can make changes.

Take Time To Read
One way take up a new writing challenge is to read. While your kids take advantage of the summer reading program at your local library, do the same. Try that new novelist you’ve heard so much about. Revisit an old favorite. Engage in your guilty pleasure reading. Look at what you write. Does it bear any resemblance to what you love to read? If not, try writing in this area.

Take a New Path
One of the things I always loved about summer was the chance to take a fun class and try something new. This was when I picked up a paint brush and excavated an archaeological site. This summer, try writing something new to you. Get back into poetry. Try your hand at essays. You may discover a new writing passion.

You may not have much time to write in the summer months, but take advantage of the opportunity that summer offers you to recharge, renew your career and get started on something you can pursue with passion once everyone else is back in school.


Find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards and her work on her blog, One Writer's Journey.


Unknown said...

SueBe, this is right up my alley right now. With my kids and family around more and schedules different, I don't try to produce a lot with my writing during the summer. Instead, I let this be my "education" time and read and study books, read fun books and let this be a mind renewal time.

Anonymous said...

Great article, SueBE! Taking a break is a way to re-charge your batteries as a writer, and to come back with a fresh perspective. And as you say, it's so important to go with the genre you truly enjoy. Every writer should take your advice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, ladies! It can be hard to give yourself space to reflect if you have deadlines and hopefully this is a good reminder for people.

Margo Dill said...

Sue, this is a very positive spin and helpful suggestions to many of us who are going to start feeling frustrated this summer. I love summer and love all the opportunities to get out with my daughter and stepson, but I always feel writing tugging at me. I will try not to do that as much this summer. (Plus with my mom, my number one babysitter, having knee replacement surgery in mid-June. . .well, you see where this is going. :) Thanks for this. I think I will bookmark it and refer to it OFTEN!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! We all feel the frustration but somehow much more so in the summer. Today, I have my niece here as they still don't have power back after storms last week. Tomorrow, high school swim camp starts and I am the chief chauffeur. Writing? Only around the edges.

Marcia Peterson said...

Summers with the kids are always a challenge with our regular routines taken away. I like your suggestions, and for anyone wanting to try a class, WOW has some fun summer offerings. We also have to learn to grab writing time here and there, around the edges.

Anonymous said...

So true. If you are ready to go, you can get a lot done in 15 minutes. I'd rather have an hour but this week an hour is a rumor, like El Dorado.

LuAnn Schindler said...

Ah, Sue. I WANT to take a break from writing. But, with juggling family obligations and teaching, this IS my time to write.

Good news though, I didn't write over the weekend - a three-day family reunion at a great state park. Today, though, I've been back at it and feel recharged.

Next challenge: writing a one-act for competition for my cast of 50. :)'s hard to take a break sometimes.

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