How to Plan a Summer of Creative Writing

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You probably already have big plans for your summer. It’s the time of year when people celebrate graduations, go to the beach, move to new schools, and see the world.

Those activities also complicate any writer’s typical routine.

This guide will help you plan a summer of creative writing that’s actionable and manageable. You won’t get behind on your latest stories because you’ve already scheduled your time wisely.

1. Plan Your Vacations First

The first thing you need to plan a summer of creative writing (or any activity) is a good calendar. I prefer physical planners with monthly calendars, but you can also use digital versions like Google Calendar, Outlook, or Apple Calendar.

Once you have a designated spot to organize your time, plan your vacations first.

Many writers would probably tell you to schedule your writing time before anything else. It’s noble, but not always possible. Besides, if you feel trapped by your writing routine, you’re more likely to avoid it.

Schedule those fun vacations and weekend getaways. Even the occasional day trip would be nice to experience while the weather’s warm. Block off time for fun adventures to prioritize your mental health. Your writing will flourish because your brain got to take a break. 

2. Reflect on Your Average Writing Session

Everyone’s writing session looks and functions a bit differently. While you might write best when it’s late at night and you’re alone in your bedroom, another writer might be at their best in the early morning hours in a public setting like a cafe.

Consider where and when you write best. How often do those elements come together to create a writing session for you?

Planning a summer of creative writing based on the routine that already works for you is the best way to have a creatively successful few months. Even when you’re traveling or outside of your normal routine, you’ll know the most essential factors that form the best writing environment for how your brain works.

3. Set Reasonable Recurring Goals

Writers use daily word counts to keep themselves on track with their practice sessions. You may have a long history of doing the same thing or maybe you never tried it.

Some say the average daily word count of a writer is between 500–3,000 words, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I don’t get around to my creative writing every day because it isn’t my full-time job! It’s okay to focus on other responsibilities and deadlines when they arise.

Taking breaks between writing sessions to focus on what’s going on in your life is healthy and should be expected!

If you want to set a word count goal for your summer, start with your standard writing routine. Think about how many pages or paragraphs you wrote last time you sat down. Copy and paste the content into a word count website to figure out how many words you reached. At the end of the session, did you feel exhausted? Fulfilled? Content? Ready to write more?

Let’s say I wrote 250 words in my last session. It was exactly enough to add to my latest story without running out of mental energy for the day.

I could set a goal to write 250 words every day this summer. I could also say I want to write 250 words per day during the weekend and attempt to write during the week. When I’m on vacation, I would loosen that goal because I’d be doing fun activities. I might change that goal to 100 words per day or per trip.

Above all, remain flexible with your word count (or other types of) goals. Every day brings different challenges and schedule changes. Your mental health will also vary based on things like interpersonal conflict, your diet, your sleep habits, and other factors.

However you decide to set goals for yourself, it should be easy to manage them for long-term writing success.

4. Find a Writing Retreat

While you’re in the mindset of planning your writing around vacations, why not check out a few writing retreats? They’re vacations designed specifically for creative writers who want to dedicate their time to their manuscripts and meet other writers.

Check out a few of these resources to get started. They update annually so you’ll always know which retreats are on the horizon:

If you can’t travel or don’t want the social aspect of a writing retreat, consider hosting one for yourself at home. All you need to do is set aside a day or a weekend without any other responsibilities.

Make your meals ahead of time or order delivery to maximize how much time you have to write. In between sessions, you could give yourself spa treatments or walk local trails to refresh your mind like the activities at writing retreats. Don’t forget to relax with your favorite book too. Reading sharpens numerous creative writing skills if you pick up a book or short story in any genre.

5. Update Your Plan Throughout the Summer

Life is always changing. The plans you make in April may not work in May or June. Don’t be afraid about updating your summer writing plan. It isn’t a mark of failure if things don’t go as expected. Instead, look at it for what it is — an opportunity to practice having patience and adapting your writing routine to the life you lead. It’s a skill you’ll always need, summer or not.

Plan Your Summer of Creative Writing

You can easily plan a summer of creative writing with actionable steps like these. Grab a calendar, set a writing goal, and make changes as needed throughout the season. You’ll end the summer with more confidence in your ability to be flexible with your creative routine and more progress on whatever stories currently capture your attention.

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