July 1st is here.
I always imagine that July 1st is the “real” start of summer. To me, June is the prelude to summer, and August is the “meat” of summer. But July – July is the moment to capture summer, to pursue your true summer dreams, to immerse yourself in the joys of summer, the lazy warm afternoons lying in sun-dappled grass, the brief plunges into the cool water of lakes or ponds, the weekend cook-outs with friends and family.
Now that July 1st is here, I’m thinking about my writing dream. What would I like to do this summer that I have not yet done earlier in the year? What do I want to focus on in particular? What would I like to have accomplished by the end of the summer?
Maybe it’s because in Seattle, our marine climate often gives us rainy June days (which I personally love, but other Seattleites grouse about), so that July and August (and now, increasingly, September) tend to be our best months for sunny weather and for being outdoors.
Or perhaps this impulse arises from generations of farming cycles. My family come through a line of Iowa farmers, and summer brings the harvest season. My grandparents were born in the Midwest and their parents were Midwestern farmers.
Or, this may be a feeling that comes out of the cycle of the school year that runs from September to June. Who couldn’t wait for that last day of school, when you finish a whole year’s study and take a well-deserved break before starting the next year? July is the first entire month of summer vacation, when one can completely let go of study habits and writing papers and preparing for exams, and instead wander in parks, sleep in late, and stay up to watch the stars come out.
Here are a few of the things I would like to do over the summer!
- Submit my work to new markets. This month’s Poets & Writers Magazine has a great article on why submitting your work helps you become a better writer. It’s always a “nail-biter” for me to send out work, which is (frequently) rejected. But I’m starting to learn more about the markets for my work AND about the strengths of my own writing.
- Complete my chapbook projects. I’m working on three potential small books – The Little Book of Lies, The Little Book of Monsters, and The Little Book of Fables. The first book (“Lies”) is done as of last week – yay! Now to bring the other two to completion.
- Turn back to my MFA novel, Daylight Saving Time, and continue to re-imagine it with new material and newly honed writing skills.
- (possibly) Lead a second #productivewriter 6-week experiment before the end of the summer. We’ll see!
- Do lots of experimental writing!
Share your thoughts!
What do you have in mind for your summer? If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, this may be different for you, but whether it be writing, photography, or other arts – what would you like to focus on for the next two months? Do you have some works-in-progress that you’d like to give attention to? Or are you inclined to set aside formal goals and spend your time holistically following your muse wherever it leads? Either way, I’m 100% in support of your creative and expressive effort. Feel free to share your thoughts in comments – I am grateful for every one.