Summer is a busy time for most people. Traveling to see relatives. Vacations. Kids out of school! The days go quickly and often our writing takes a backseat to other pleasures.
Although the heat of summer days and lure of the great outdoors may interfere with our daily writing routine, there are ways to stay engaged and still make it fun. As a prevention to the summer slump, here is a list of suggested topics to keep you writing:
I know summer is here when…
The 5 Senses of Summer. Think about how you experience the summer months with your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Touch?
My favorite summer memory…
Imagine summer from a perspective of 200 years ago. What would you or your main character be doing, wearing, or eating?
My dream vacation would be…
Take some summer photos and put words to the pictures. This could be vacation pictures of just a jaunt through the local park.
I’ll never forget the summer when…
My ideal summer day takes place when…
What does the 4th of July mean to me? Take a trip down Memory Lane and reconnect with your patriotice roots.
My first summer job…the good and the bad.
Make one of your vacations the backdrop for a short story.
The ups and downs of summer camp…friends, counselors, food, and fun!
My favorite flavor of ice cream is…
How my schedule changes in the summer months.
My favorite backyard memory. What comes to mind when you think of growing up in your backyard?
Are you a hot weather or cold weather person? Which season do you prefer and why?
How I overcame the boredom of summer.
Capture your campfire memories…food, activities, songs.
My favorite things to do in and around the pool.
When summer ends I feel…
These 20 prompts should keep your writing flowing throughout the summer. Have fun reminiscing and putting words to those memories as you keep the summer slump at bay.
Here is a shout out to all of you self-published writers! If you are just getting started or are already deep in the process, let me recommend four of my favorite blogs for self-published writers. These four writers/bloggers are experts in their field and have many resources to help any aspiring writer reach their goals and publish.
Joel’s background is in printing, typesetting, and traditional publishing. He has taken his extensive knowledge and applied it to the expanding self-publishing market. He has won consecutive awards from Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers.
Joel offers blogs, resources, and courses on the nuts and bolts of manufacturing a book. If you need help in book covers, design, formatting, typography, this is the site for you.
Edie’s site is a plethora of information. She offers daily blog posts from various writer’s as well as her own words of wisdom. Her site merits awards from Feedspot and positivewriter.com. If you are seeking information as well as inspiration, thewriteconversation.com is the place to be. Edie also is a great resource for those following the traditional publishing path.
Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and very familiar with the world of publishing. Much of his advice is for traditional publishing, but he offers great wisdom and inspiration for any aspiring writer. If you are into technology, productivity, or even just general leadership growth, his website is your destination. With blog posts, audio/videos, downloadable PDF books, Hyatt’s website is an up-to-date resource.
These blogs are a great place to start if you are branching out into self-publishing. From the writing process to book design and marketing, they have it all.
Woody Allen once said, “I don’t think my parents liked me. They put a live teddy bear in my crib!”
While we all have a few harrowing experiences from our youth, most of us have fond memories of mom and dad. Parents teach us to smile, help us make wise choices, and endure all of the trying times that lead to adulthood.
A traditional celebration includes taking parents out for a meal, sending flowers, or purchasing a gift. As a mom who has celebrated many a Mother’s Day, I always appreciate the presents, but it is the heartfelt expressions that I remember most. What parent does not long to hear words of thanks or recall sweet memories of past times?
This year, in addition to the practical gifts we give, consider giving a creative expression of love. The following are a few inexpensive ways to remember your parents, but are nevertheless priceless in value. They are messages of love and appreciation for those who cared for us during our formative years.
1. Make an original card. Get the kids to contribute their artistic flair. Or purchase one of the recordable cards available at a local store. Record your voice telling mom or dad how much you appreciate them. It is a gift that will be played over and over.
2. Create an acrostic with the word M.O.T.H.E.R. or F.A.T.H.E.R. Use one word to describe each letter. If you create this on the computer, add photos, pictures, or graphics, and then print it out and place it in a frame.
3. Write a “Thank You” letter to your parent. List the unique qualities that make them a good mother or father or write the traits your parent leaves as a legacy in the family.
4. Publish a memory book. Include pictures and memories from the special moments in his or her life. There are a number of companies that offer this service for a reasonable price…Walmart.com and Shutterfly.com are two options.
5. Compose a prayer thanking God for your parent. Then pray the words over them on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Frame a copy of the prayer so they can read it often.
6. Act it out! For those families that have a dramatic flair, pick significant times from mom or dad’s past and act them out. Craft a cheer. Act out a play or memorable scene from their life.
7. Sing a song especially for them. Write your original words to a known tune or compose a new song. Belt it out with gusto!
8. Make a movie or other presentation with photos from their life. Set it to their favorite song or have family members narrate each picture.
9. Present a bouquet of flowers, but with a unique twist. Bring the flowers one at a time. Let each family member tell mom or dad why they are special as they present the flower.
10. Create a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day coupon book. Include a coupon from different members of the family who promise to perform a certain task when asked.
Finally, if you still need some creative inspiration, download a free copy of “10 Things I Want My Mom to Know” and “10 Things I Want My Dad to Know.” Each full-color printable has ten different questions with fill-in-the-blanks like “The best advice my Mom ever gave me…,” “The three words I would use to describe my Dad are…,” and “If my Mom had a superpower it would be…”
How important is the act of honoring our parents? God placed it in his top ten list. The fifth commandment states Honor your father and your mother. (Exodus 20:12) Let this holiday season inspire you to give back to those wonderful people who invested so much to you.
We have all been there…writer’s block! It visits when you least expect it and remains an unwelcome guest. You may ask yourself…
What should I write about? I am out of ideas!
I have hit a dead end. Help!
Writer’s block is defined as the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. When it hits, any writer can feel paralyzed. So, how do you overcome this debilitating mindset? Here are a few ways that have helped me out of the slump and back to the keyboard:
When writer’s block raises its ugly head, don’t panic. Take some time to regroup in one of the ways above. Your creative juices will flow once again!
We all want to be productive. Yet, how often do our priorities get realigned or dropped because something else vies for attention? We focus on the immediate crisis instead of our long-term goals. I’m GUILTY!
How productive are you?
If you want an assessment, Michael Hyatt has developed a quick test that gives you a productivity score. With only nine questions, this survey provides an accurate diagnostic of your personal productivity output.
Hyatt’s Free to Focus Personal Productivity Assessment reveals:
The Free to Focus Personal Productivity Assessment is free. It’s available online and mobile friendly so you can take it on any device. And you can complete it in a few minutes.
Best of all, when you’re done you’ll get a productivity score and score-specific report. You’ll also receive actionable tips and tricks to increase your score and become more productive.
Once you get clear on the next steps, you’ll be able to chart your improvement by comparing your scores and achieving a new personal best.
Identifying your current location is the key to getting where you want to go. The Free to Focus Personal Productivity Assessment locates your point of departure and offers suggestions to improve.
Discover your personal productivity and move forward with confidence!