Summer To-do List

Bob says, "Get to work."

Bob says, “Get to work.”

I’ve had a terrible time writing this summer. We’ve been too busy. I settled in my easy chair after a day of running the children from place to place and thought about what I could do. Hiring a nanny and chauffeur is out. Letting my 12 yr old do all the driving is frowned upon in the city. My transporter has yet to arrive from Amazon.  That leaves:

  • Read– yes that’s right read.  A writer must read. There’s reading for enjoyment and then there’s reading for improvement and research.  All are a necessity for writers. Reading popular books in and out of my genre is helpful in exposing me to other ways of doing something. That’s vague!  Example:One cozy mystery is similar to other cozy mysteries. Characters, setting, and theme are different. You know a cozy when you read it. Reading different authors allows me to see how they handle the cozy genre. What boundaries are they pushing? What’s different/fresh with this story over another? Reading outside my genre allows me to see what is possible beyond. I don’t write juvenile/YA literature but I enjoy reading it. It gives me perspective on what is on the minds of YA readers.  I can also catchup on my nonfiction “writing” books. Just got a new one in the mail last week and I have 3 on my Kindle to read this summer on self-publishing.  Reading is essential.
  • CraftYes, I went there. This is funny, since I just read an article on this in the current issue of Writer’s Digest. Working on a different hobby can enhance your creativity and writing. As I teach my kids to sew PJs this summer I am using a different part of my brain.  I’m flexing that creative muscle in a different area.
  • Writing Prompts– short writing sprints that have nothing to do with a current project. It’s fun just to write for the sake of writing.  It’s just to see what happens.
  • Edit- I have 4 short stories that are almost ready to be released upon the world. I want to get them trimmed up and ready.
  • Reconnect– I need to go back over to Critique Circle. When I was active it was helpful.

I think that’s enough to accomplish over summer.

What summer goals do you have?


Writing Prompts

I’ve mentioned before I love writing prompts.  they are a great way to loosen up the mind and get ready for writing. I prefer to have them without the expectation of using them for a future writing project. It gives me more freedom.

What makes a good writing prompt?

  •  open ended- this gives the writer freedom to take the exercise where ever he needs to.
  • short- we don’t need too much information.  A prompt should be a glimpse, just enough to cause a spark
  • visual- photos are my favorite prompts.  They express a range of emotions and possibilities, from just one photo

Monday Mind Prompt.

I need a better name than that! On Monday’s I will have a writing prompt. Something to help ease us back into the work week and loosen up the writing muscles. Most will probably be photos.  I’m very visual and love taking pictures. I’m also an art quilter, so I have massive amounts of photos. Feel free to leave a comment about the prompt or if you use it, let me know how it went.