6 Ways to Jumpstart July and Write

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

As of yesterday, July 1st, we are half way through the year. I don’t know about you but I have been slacking off in the writing department. I know. I know. Give yourself space. Give yourself grace. Treat yourself with loving kindness. 

That’s all well and good. But I need something to do other than check Facebook. I’ve been crocheting and I’ve got plans to knit tonight, but I’m generally much happier when I write. 

If that sounds familiar, here are 6 ways to jumpstart July and get back to your writing. 

Brainstorm 

One of my favorite writing challenges, Storystorm, takes place in November. I tend to do it now and again throughout the year. The goal is to brainstorm 30 writing ideas in 30 days. This is a good one if the kids are missing camp, you or your spouse are working from home, or you are otherwise up to your hips in the glory of 2020. It doesn't take a lot of effort. When you see something that sparks an idea, write it down. 

Camp NaNoWriMo 

In April and July, participants sign up at the NaNoWriMo web site for Camp. They set a month-long goal for themselves and get to work. This is great if you need external deadlines. That writing project you’ve been talking about doing in 2020 but haven’t started? Why not sign up and set a July goal for yourself?  I'm there as Nonfiction Writer. 

Something that Won’t Be Published 

If you are a working writer who happens to be out of work at the moment, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about writing that will sell. This challenge can help you rediscover the fun and the play of writing. Craft something you won’t market.  For me, this means poetry. Earlier this week, I played around with an In One Word poem. You can find a wide variety of poetry types to play with at the Poetic Asides blog.  

30 Queries 

Maybe you are someone who has a vast number of completed manuscripts. Or you’ve been talking about finding an agent. All Freelance Writing challenged writers to send out 30 Queries in 30 Days. Imagine that – 30 agents, 30 magazine editors, 30 editors, or any combination. Me? I need to query agents. Click through above and you’ll even find a tracking worksheet. 

30 Blog Posts 

Or you might be a blogger who has let things slide during the uncertainty that has been 2020. If so, try writing 30 Blog Posts in 30 Days. That’s another All Freelance Writing challenge. It can help inspire you to update your blog’s content or just to plan ahead so that you aren’t scrambling the night before a post has to go live. 

Run with Something 

New Maybe, more than anything, you need to run with a manuscript that is shiny and new. Instead of working on my novel or querying an agent, I spent two days roughing out a new picture book. I could say that I made this choice because it is a story about identity and isn’t that a timely topic. But really? I just needed to work on something new. 

We are half way through 2020. Don’t let that panic you. It’s been a stinker of a year all around but the redemption arc should come into play any time now. Right? Right?! 

--SueBE
Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 25 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  

Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins  July 6th, 2020) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins July 6, 2010). 

9 comments:

Nicole Pyles said...

What a perfectly timed post! I need something like this to get myself into gear. I've been so sluggish lately. Back in the saddle I go! Just before I finish this next level of Lily's Garden (I kid, I kid lol).

Cathy C. Hall said...

I picked up my manuscripts and got to work after an initial slump. But the second slump has hit and this time, I'm stepping back for a little think.

Or maybe it's just my usual summertime slump. Whatever. The point is, I'm in a break. But when I get going again, I'll check out a few of those suggestions. Thanks, Sue!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Cathy and Nicole,
It really is a matter of knowing where we are in the creative cycle and what we need, isn't it?

Sometimes we need to step back and recharge.

I feel like I'm ready to get moving again.

Carole Mertz said...


I benefited from Sue Edwards's article and from Nicole's later post. I'll forward to The Muffin my own brief essay about taking inventory, for your consideration at Wow! Women on Writing.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Carole,
I can't wait to see how you pulled our two sets of ideas together!
--SueBE

Renee Roberson said...

These are all great ideas to get the juices flowing. I would be tempted to do the 30 blog posts in 30 days but I'm a little scared! I guess if you outlined the topics ahead of time and gave yourself a word limit (I tend to write posts that are too long) it could be done. I'll see if I can talk myself into it.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Renee,
I do set a word limit on my blog posts. I find that it helps if I know from the start that I only have to write 300 . . . 400 . . . 500 words.

Angela said...

Excellent post, Sue! I stepped back for a while but I'm back in the saddle since last Saturday. I used the 4th of July as an excuse to write, since no one expected me to work. :) I pumped out 9699 words in two days! I need to get back to the BK boards and update my progress.

I also just heard of a challenge where you write 52 essays/stories in 52 weeks. It comes from a Ray Bradbury quote, "Write a short story every week for a year. It's not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row." I'd love to try that one!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Angela,
52 essays/stories in 52 weeks? Sounds like a good challenge.

Sounds like you have rediscovered your writing groove!

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