Well, it’s May 1st, so most of us are wrapping up school and have our eyes on summer. Maybe you have lots of plans (Yay for vaccines!) or a job, or perhaps you just plan to relax and play lots of video games. For myself, I’m visiting relatives across the country with my family, then spending the summer with my long-distance boyfriend while hopefully completing an internship or some such useful activity.
Whatever the case, now that we (probably) don’t have homework essays claiming our word count goals, it’s time to get on with the personal writing! It can be hard to figure out what to do after not having/making as much time during the school year, so beyond just “writing more,” here are a few ideas for how to take advantage of the summer as a writer. Some are explicitly about writing, others are related to it.
- Get a job. Professional covers and editing, conference registration, writing tools like Scrivener or Canva Pro (for graphics), books, a blog domain/hosting, and other such things generally require money to be able to obtain them. You don’t need these things to be a writer, but having funds is pretty darn useful as your career gets going.
- Take a free course for skills related to writing, like MailerLite Academy to learn about email lists and marketing, or one on graphic design.
- Participate in a challenge. The next Camp NaNo is in July, and Go Teen Writers will likely be running their annual, summer-long 100-for-100 Challenge. If you’re part of a writing group, someone there might be running a challenge of some kind too. If they aren’t, hey, you could start one of your own! These kinds of things can be incredibly useful if you struggle to be disciplined and keep writing consistently without outside accountability.
- Practice writing on a regular schedule if your schedule didn’t allow it before. Set a regular time block, for example from 2-3 in the afternoon, or another goal for writing, and see how well you can stick to it over time.
- Find and enter contests, or submit your work to a publication. Reedsy has a fun weekly contest where you get prompts and can enter to win $50 by writing a story of between 1,000 and 3,000 words. And there are a ton of other contests and publications out there if you just start Googling.
- Have fun! Don’t forget to go experience things, and then you’ll know how to write about them if you have a character who does the same things. You never know when your characters might need to know about rock climbing, or decide to visit a theme park. Or, you might learn things about yourself and life that you want to write a blog post about. We writers aren’t meant to be hermits – writing is part of our broader lives, and we have to have material TO write about.
Hopefully these give you some good ideas if you’re trying to figure out what the best way to use the summer is. This list is definitely not exhaustive though; if you have any more ideas, please share them in the comments!