By Midge Raymond, author of Everyday Writing
As writers, we’re told that in order to succeed, we must write every day—but of course, this isn’t realistic or feasible for most of us; we have families, day jobs, and other responsibilities that can get in the way of a daily writing practice.
And in the middle of summer? It’s even more challenging: The kids are home, the weather’s lovely, and everyone’s in vacation mode (writing, while a luxury, is still hard work, which makes sitting in the chair all the more daunting when the sun is calling).
As an author with a busy schedule, I’ve found that it’s not necessary to write every single day—but what is necessary is to think like a writer every day. This means opening our eyes and ears just a little wider than the next person—to take in everything happening in the world around us, including in our own inner worlds, all of which provides the richest material we’ll ever need.
Here are a few prompts to get you started—all of which, with summer in mind, are designed to take you five minutes or fewer. And, for all you fiction writers out there, keep in mind that you can do these exercises from the point of view of your characters.
Enjoy—and have a wonderful summer of writing!
- Write about your favorite beach.
- Write for one minute about each of the following: firefly, shell, lake, mosquito, lemonade.
- Describe your first swimsuit.
- Write about a sunburn.
- Write for one minute about each of the following: watermelon, sand, moon, chlorine, ice.
- Describe a perfect summer morning.
- Write about a popsicle.
- Write about a favorite summer destination.
- Describe the first time you saw the ocean.
- Write about a sunset.
Midge Raymond is the author of Everyday Writing: Tips and Prompts to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life and the story collection ForgettingEnglish, which received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Indiana Review, North American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, and many other publications and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Visit www.MidgeRaymond.com to subscribe to her free email newsletter for writers.
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