NUDGE: Summer Writing

Grant Park, Chicago -- Do you write in a park?


Everyone talks about “summer reading”—but what about summer writing?

When I was a teenager, in the summer I stayed up until one or two in the morning, listening to the Big Red Machine on the radio and working on short stories and poems. Or, at the very least, I’d write page after page in my journal to the accompaniment of nocturnal crickets and other night noises coming through the screen of my open bedroom window.

Prompt: Think about summer writing. Are you a full-time writer who writes no matter what the season? Or is summer your one time to write because of a looser schedule (kids off school, summer hours at work), down time in your employment (teachers, perhaps), or something about the warmer weather makes you feel more creative?

Do you change the types of things you write during the summer? Do you break away from more formal writing to concentrate on creative production? In keeping with the more casual attitude during the summer, does your writing become more casual as well; for instance, you write more in your journal than you do the rest of the year?

Do you write at the beach or pool? Do you know all the outdoor Wi-Fi spots and take your laptop there for periods of work? Do you prefer a cold-beer-and-cool-shade environment for your writing? Do you ever wait to write in the cricket-rich, star-studded darkness of a summer night?

Write about your summer writing. Make it a memory piece, if you wish, going back to your childhood or teen years. Perhaps you wrote skits to perform, stories to tell around a fire. Perhaps you, too, scribbled in your journal long after everyone else had gone to bed. Maybe your only writing was composing letters home from camp or e-mails to correspondents across the globe. Include plenty of sensory details to create the total experience of summer writing.


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