We are nearing that time of year that marks the summer solstice, also known as Midsummer’s Eve, and school’s out, the garden is up and running (if you have one), and you’d rather be outside than inside, even if it’s hot. The beach is much more important than doing something that resembles work.
Instead of working on something like a short story or a novel, now would be a good time to take something off the shelf that will make you a better writer. Take a break. Don’t be quite so intense and worried about getting it done. Give your characters a little rest. Do some sketching or shoot photos. Do something that will inspire a book cover or illustrate a story or poem.
‘Writing In Flow’ by Susan K. Perry is one of the books I have recommended strongly for anyone who wants to write, if only for the sake of writing. I’m going back to that instead of reading novels this summer, because it is meant to jar you loose from being stuck. Being stuck for something to say happens to everyone, and is not something to worry about.
Take some time this summer and into fall to follow one of Susan Perry’s suggestions: open up to new experiences.
Standing on the porch in the middle of a cloudburst, taking in the scent of fresh rain and feeling the changes in the air while it’s going on, and after it’s done and the storm has moved on – these are physical sensations that you can put into the lives of your characters.
If you’re stuck, don’t worry about it. The flow will return. But if you feel compelled to write, then follow a new path. If you usually create prose, then try poetry instead, as in making up some silly children’s rhymes. If you write poetry, turn a poem into a one-paragraph story.
It’s less important what it is than that you do it.