Thoughts and Inspiration for Creative Writers

-from Chrysalis Editorial

Five Things Writers Should Do This Summer

Posted on | June 27, 2012 | No Comments

It is officially summertime: a time of warmer weather, longer days, and fewer school buses delaying your commute.  Why not use summer to get the inspiration flowing?  Here are five things we think every writer should do this summer.  Let us know your favorites and which of these or other ideas makes the most difference on your latest project.

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Go on vacation

If you’re lucky enough to do any traveling this summer, you may be surprised at how your trip can spark some fresh inspiration for your writing.  Vacations allow us to escape the humdrum of everyday life, and nothing can cloud inspiration more than the monotony of routines.  If you do leave town, be sure to experience your new surroundings.  Your hotel room may not inspire you, but the colorful citizenry or the natural scenery might. Keep your eyes wide open, and maybe your vacation will actually spur your work.

Try something new

Of course, you don’t need to fly across the country to experience something new.  Writers on a budget can derive inspiration from the aspects of their own town that they simply have not yet discovered.  If your idea of enjoying the great outdoors is reading a book on the deck, take a weekend camping trip or go fishing one morning.  If you barely know how many bases there are, check out a local baseball game.  Go to a museum, try a new restaurant, or get lost in a neighborhood with which you’re not familiar.  Whatever you do, make sure its something that you have never done before. The best stories come from living life, though occasionally they can spring forth by just staring at your ceiling. So spend this summer experiencing things, and I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in your writing.

Take the time to practice your craft

Writers often forget that sometimes they have to practice writing just like you practice football or playing the piano.  Not everything you write should be for the purpose of getting published or getting graded.  Write something with no intention of using it in a story, novel or essay.  Do it just to see if you can.  The best way to practice something complex like writing is to break the task into smaller, simpler portions.  So write a few pages just to work on varying your sentence structure, or write an action scene just to see how realistic you can make it.  Describe a weird character or a place from your dream last night.  Sometimes spending an afternoon practicing, away from your current project, can make a huge difference once you return to your novel or memoir.

Look online for inspiration.

These days, the Internet is full of websites for writers and artists alike.  While many of these can easily fall into the category of “procrastination websites,” they could also be your inspiration for your next great piece of writing. Don’t be afraid to use the Internet as your inspiration just because Shakespeare or Hemingway didn’t.  By the way, how did they live without it?

Speaking of which, one of our favorites is www.easystreetprompts.blogspot.com.  This blog has series of random words, pictures, and videos to help inspire artists and writers alike.  Complete with links to resources, contests, and writing prompts, this website is a surefire cure to writer’s block.

Another favorite: www.thestorystarter.com.  It’s just what it sounds like.  This website randomly generates billions of sentences that can be used to start stories.  It’s basic but useful, either for simple writing exercises or to inspire the next great American novel.

Read

As any artist knows, you cannot expect to create a work of art without exposing yourself to other people’s work.  So take some time this summer to read. Read magazines, newspapers, classics, bestsellers, and debut novels. Read books both within and outside of your genre. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on.  If you’re stuck trying to find some great new books, check out last week’s blog on Summer Reads, or explore the world of Literary Social Networking.

Happy summer, and happy writing!

Sarah Crain

Editorial Assistant

sarah@chrysaliseditorial.com

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