For many of us, summer is a time for time away from work, family vacations, and a break from the everyday slog. So why not make this the season where you finally get started writing? Your future self will thank you for it.
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
You’re packing for a week-long family trip up north or out of state. You’ve got your clothes, snacks, and electronics packed. You even somehow remembered your charging cords. Then it strikes you: what are you going to do during all that time on the plane (or in the car)?
Last year, I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Vietnam. It was an amazing adventure, chalked full of planes, trains, and automobiles. I mean seriously, I spent over 24 hours sitting as we traveled down the length of Vietnam. (That’s a whole separate story in itself, but one for another day.) The plane ride itself was 16 hours. So what did I do with all that downtime?
I have been working on a science fiction book for a little over a year now. I made space in my carry-on (I never check bags anymore) for my pre-writing materials, made sure our flights would have power outlets and I was good to go. Over the course of the trip I probably broke 12,000 words (but who’s counting). That’s on top of seeing amazing sites and completing what was seriously the most physically difficult cave tour I have ever done.
Writing during my vacation filled in all the gaps and made travel time meaningful. I wasn’t just waiting to get to the next experience. I was creating something.
My trip even informed my writing. As I visited a place where I had no chance of speaking the language (seriously, don’t try), it affected how I wrote my alien protagonist’s first contact with his human hosts. It was enlightening, and empowering. And it made my writing better.
So What Are You Writing This Summer?
You don’t have to be headed to an exotic destination like Vietnam to make the most of your vacation and get words on the page. A quiet weekend at the lake or even a stay-cation at home can be a great time to focus on your writing and finally get that project started.
By doing the work when you are explicitly allowed to ignore the “real world” of your job, volunteer work, and family obligations, you can be sure your writing gets off to the right start.
So what are you writing this summer?
If you have been putting off starting your story because you just don’t have the time to write every day, let me encourage you not to put it off any longer. Take advantage of that plane ride, weekend up north, or time in the car to put pen to paper and start writing. You never know, you may fall so in love you can’t put it down once you’re back at work.