It’s summer! How are you writing into your dream?
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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.


Photo by Theresa Barker.

#productivewriter 1 | #productivewriter 2 | #productivewriter 3 | #productivewriter 4 | #productivewriter5 | #productivewriter6 | #productivewriter-wrapup


26 thoughts on “It’s summer! How are you writing into your dream?

  1. Good luck with your goals. I remember July and August being particularly beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. As for me, the struggle of summer is the sheer amount of other things I have to attend to and the lack of structure that the rest of the year has. For me, it is harder to work in time for my actual work. Having said that, I do love summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We too love those rainy days. We wonder if its because it gives reason to nestle in and write, read or just ponder? Your summer to do list is a good one! Isn’t it something how fast the time goes though as we make effort to accomplish each one. Our list is ever growing but our efforts are always to remember priorities. Then comes the battle of priorities, lol.

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    1. Yes, the battle of priorities, that’s a good way to put it. I was just talking with a friend about that last week, the idea that you still have to do dishes and keep the house relatively clean and feed the cats and prepare meals and pay bills and … while you also want to write and read and express yourself creatively and visit with friends and loved ones and … You’re so right! 🙂

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      1. Amen to all this. Its a balancing act here too. I am working on mastering sign language, guitar, voice, writing, traveling, blogging, and loving my mate with all my heart. Ain’t it great that we still have all this we are able to do.

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      2. Life is so good. We feel so blessed. We had a rewarding moment in our Sept 16 trip out west when we encountered a Native American woman that was deaf. She had no one to talk with including her husband. As we talked to the husband and he shared this I began talking with the woman in sigh. Theresa, if you could have seen her face. It is a moment I will never forget. For just a moment she let me into her world and we talked. Best feeling ever.

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  3. Loved your description of summer! Over here summer is from April to September 😀 Okay April to June. July is rains and more rains and schools reopen in the first week of July. But it was fun and we could always look forward to a rainy day holiday. I am impressed with your writing achievements. All the best and keep it up Theresa.

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  4. I love the way you think about the summer. I agree – July is the month in which you can really get things done. Congrats on finishing your book!! And I’d love it if you led another Productive Writer experiment – I learned so much from the last one. Best wishes for accomplishing your summer goals, and happy 4th of July!!

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    1. Oh! That is WONDERFUL! Connie. I’m so happy for you. Not published yet … I’ve been looking into chapbook publishers and also exploring publishing myself. Do you have any tips? Would love to hear any thoughts. 🙂 Thank you for mentioning it!


  5. I love how you captured the essence of “July Summer”. Your goals for summer writing seem like they are going to be a fun challenge for you. I’m looking forward to your next experiment – I love the way you lead me to think in a different way creatively than what I normally do. Your experiments and exercises are really motivational! You should be putting all of these together to publish as a non-fiction self help book!!! My husband self published his books. The biggest challenge to self publishing is that marketing is a full time job. It is fortunate that he wrote his books because he loves the fantasy genre and had a story to tell. There was never the expectation of being rich and famous. It certainly would have been nice but not expected. When he orders paperback copies of his books it is an incredible feeling of pride and accomplishment to hold that real book with his name as author in my hands. 😀

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    1. It’s so wonderful to hear that these thoughts and exercises have been motivational- and for me, too! Exploring these strategies and ideas through writing about them has helped me design a more satisfying structure for my creativity, too. – And thanks for the tip about self-publishing, I’m thinking about doing that with my chapbook “Little Book of Lies”. I’m not expecting to be rich and famous either! It’s lovely to have an audience, even if it’s only a few readers, who are enthusiastic, like you are, about my stories! Thanks, Tami! ❤

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  6. All the best, my friend! …although this is such a late comment. As you can guess, my July was awful. It’s the middle of winter for us. It was time for me to be lazy and hibernate. I do feel guilty about it but I’m justifying it by saying I’m listening to my body. Haha. I do hope you got all your writing goals for July done. I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve this week off work to rest but already, I have tomorrow and Wednesday scheduled to do stuff for a friend and to have high tea with girl friends, respectively. Wednesday is Women’s Day in South Africa so it’s a public holiday. Maybe I’ll blog the high tea on my Travel, Golf and Food blog. Thursday might be a good day to play golf so I can blog about it, too. I’m always doing stuff to blog about and never get to blogging. Haha! The weather is starting to warm though so I’m slowly waking up and getting started with my things procrastinated but must do immediately. 😄 This list includes getting done with our Cinderella book on the template. Your hubby can still read and note on the double-spaced manuscript and not the CreateSpace template and I will do the edit on the template.
    Much love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anne! I’m glad to hear you found some time to rest and recover last month. That’s wonderful. I hope you had some good holiday time with friends, that can be so healing. Yes, my husband just finished proofreading! And he sent me the file, I just need to look over it and see if there are any stray comments needing fixing. My friend, I’ve also had some eldercare issue that came up suddenly, so I know what you mean about getting bogged down. I’ll be in touch soon! :: HUGS ::

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