Showing posts with label summer vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer vacation. Show all posts

Taking a Break from Writing: Finding Inspiration in a Summer Writing Hiatus

My critique group usually takes a break during the summer.  With all the summer activities, it’s hard to find a time that fits our summer schedules, and even harder to find time to write.  I usually try and keep writing during this break, but not this summer.  

This summer I’m giving myself a “hall pass” to escape from my writing room.  I normally schedule my weekly writing time on my calendar.  It almost always includes Saturday mornings and a few other sessions during the week.  For July and August, I’ve decided not to pre-schedule my time and not worry if I don’t write. 

Instead of writing, I’m travelling and getting out into nature.  I’m working on those house projects I never seem to get done.  I’m visiting the local museums and catching up with friends and family.

AND… I’m looking around for inspiration.  I use my phone to keep notes on writing/subject ideas.  For me, summer is a fertile time to germinate ideas for future projects.  Three of my projects this year, were ideas from last summer.  By September, I hope to be re-energized and ready to sequester myself with my computer. 

If you’re struggling to write this summer, consider taking a hiatus from writing for a few weeks.  It might just be the antidote for a stalled writing project.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:  

Summer Writing Prompts

Summer is here! I recently returned from vacation and am writing about the wildlife I saw. I haven’t decided how to use it yet, although it could appear in a future blog post or picture book.

While working at my computer, I thought about summer writing prompts and all the possibilities. I came across some websites for kids, although many of these prompts would also work for adults. Perhaps think about your own childhood. What did you do during your summers?

Journal Buddies has some great prompts for getting kids to write. I like 11, 13 and 22. I might include them in a book or article.

I also like Montgomery Schools’ prompt concerning one’s favorite summer memory. As far as my childhood, there were trips to amusement parks, playing with friends, and riding my bike around town.

Scholastic’s writing prompts look like fun. One in particular made me laugh. Check out the prompt for June 23!

What are you writing about? I hope the prompts on these websites spark some story ideas for you.

Have a great summer!

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.

Write on Your Summer Vacation

Summer is almost here and I have vacation on my mind. This trip is also my annual writing retreat. I chose the accommodations and I will have the freedom to roam about town.

Sitting around on park benches and hanging out at outdoor cafes allows me to people watch. There might be a ballgame or concert going on at the park. Maybe an artist will be painting a local scene.

I can visit museums and shop at stores. I might see an object that starts telling me a story. Maybe it’s an antique, something that was well loved by someone long ago. Perhaps it’s a piece of art or a photograph that speaks to me.

In the evening, when it’s cooler, I may go for a walk. I might see historic houses and wonder who used to live in them. Perhaps I will watch the birds move about, searching for food and flying back to their nests.

I may meet some interesting people. One year on vacation, I met a mystery writer. He was working on his latest creation at the inn where I was staying. On another trip, I was able to chat with a children’s author. She was selling her new book at a local festival.

When you plan your summer vacation, think of  it as an opportunity to be inspired, to write about what you see and do each day.

What plans are you making for this summer?

Whatever you decide to do, have fun and good luck with your writing!

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.

Nurturing a Writer

Summer is winding down in Chicago.  Schools are beginning to welcome back their students.  Street festivals and concerts in the park are dwindling.  I’m gearing up for the numerous activities that kick into my life in the fall, but wait…what happened to summer vacation?  What happen to rest, relaxation and a little fun?  Somehow, I let life get in the way. Fortunately, it’s never too late for a little self-pampering.  While I’m at it, I’m going to nurture the writer in me.

Here’s what I’m putting on my list…

·         A day at the beach with a chair, sunscreen and a trashy novel
·         An evening talking with an old friend
·         A Sunday afternoon with a good book
·         An hour with a notebook to write nothing in particular and see what happens
·         Good coffee and chocolate
·         A picnic in the park with a jazz concert
·         A visit with the Jellies at the aquarium
·         Hmmm…I think I could go on and on.

I may have rushed through summer, but it’s never too late to rest, recharge and become inspired.  What about you?  Do you have some end of the season pampering for the writer in you?

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach who helps clients live their true north.  For more information check out   or folllow her at:  

Getting Back on Track from a Writing Vacation

Has your writing taken a summer vacation?  My critique group took a hiatus during the summer and so did my writing life.  I needed the break.  Spending time gardening, camping with friends and cooking over a fire was just what this writer needed.    But now I need to refocus. 

Did the hiccups of a summer routine interrupt your writing?  Maybe you took a vacation or have been playing solitaire way to much.  If so, here are four steps to get back on track.

  1. Connect with your critique group or writing support system—My critique group met tonight.  It’s only been two months since we last met, but it was like meeting long lost friends.  We mostly spent the time talking about our summer and how we feel about our writing at this juncture.  We set a date in September to begin are bi-weekly meetings.  Just connecting with this group, starts my creative juices flowing. 
  2. Identify small action steps – Select one writing project and dissect it into manageable pieces to get you started.  This is especially important if you are feeling overwhelmed. 
  3.  Mind-map your writing life—In the last Writers On the Move blog post, Shirley Corder discusses mind-mapping as a way to stimulate the right brain.   For me, mind mapping my writing life is especially helpful when I have been disconnected from my writing.    I use the program Freeplane and identify the progress and next step for each of my writing projects.  Freeplane provides a visual map for my small action steps. 
  4. Commit to a time to write – For the last few years, I had the luxury to be able to write for long blocks of time.  With a new job, I now have to squeeze writing into my life.  My plan is to write four mornings a week, before I start my day.   I’ll start my day by putting my goals first.

Have you slacked off this summer?  If so, how do you plan to reconnect with your writing life?

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist. For more information check out   or folllow her at: 

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