Summer Holidays 3: Time For Writers And Writing?

Summer Holidays: The Good And The Bad For Writing

Summer holidays are a time to get away, to the beach or the country, a foreign destination, or somewhere completely different from your everyday life. This can lead to inspiration to be creative, a chance to jot down new experiences and feelings, and a time to relax and rediscover your passion for writing.

In an article by Copper Books in The Emerald ( the perfect places for authors to write for the summer holiday are listed.

  • Anywhere by water
  • A writer’s retreat
  • A cabin or campgrounds
  • A resort
  • When travel(l)ing or on a road trip

Sometimes we can’t actually travel away but might just need a few ideas to let our creative juices flow. In there are some good suggestions…

  • Write in a new space
  • Plan an at-home writing retreat
  • Participate in a summer reading challenge
  • Join a writing group or find a writing partner
  • Clean up old files to find new inspiration
  • Start a blog
  • Find new blogs to read
  • Refine your personal brand
  • Pitch a guest post
  • Plan ahead

For many writers though, the summer holidays are too distracting and they find it hard to knuckle down to any writing and procrastination is the order of the day. This could be particularly true for academic writers.

Chris Smith in the blog article…

sees the main stumbling blocks as, 1. Writers feeling burned out before they even start and, 2. Writers overestimating what they can actually achieve. To counteract these obstacles which lead to negativity, he suggests five tips.

  • Start small… Break your project down into small steps and be careful not to overwhelm yourself too soon…
  • Manage your brain energy… Get enough sleep and rest and be realistic about how long you can write for without a break.
  • Use constraints. Sometimes, having too much time to write is just as bad as having no time. If the days feel too long and endless, you’ll end up procrastinating so try shortening your writing session…
  • Track, reflect and experiment…Over just a few days, a picture of your writing process will emerge…
  • Not working? Don’t force it…Schedule in break times and exercise to clear your head and use methods like freewriting to get back on track.

Summer Days Create A Sense Of Time, Place And Memory

This may be the time for writers to write a memorable scene, chapter, or even novel.

For a book to be a classic summer novel, key plot points must occur during that season. If it’s a long, hot summer – the sort of summer no-one thought would ever end, the sort of summer during which time seems to stand still  –  so much the better. Because that’s the sort of summer during which the usual rules are suspended. People do things they wouldn’t normally do. All bets are off.

There should be a feeling of transition; one part of life’s journey is coming to an end. Nothing will ever be the same again. Often there is a sense of unreality, “the feeling of being in a dream”… And sometimes the story is told in the form of a recollection. The narrator is looking back with a twinge of wistfulness on the events of a summer long ago, the effects of which might still be rippling out.

One example of such a summer novel is LP Hartley’s The Go-Between. I loved reading that book and especially the way it created the feelings of summer through my senses, the heat, the sounds, the smells, and the tastes.

As a writer, close your eyes and feel through your senses, imagine, and get writing.

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