Writers, it’s summer! (Well, at least in the northern hemisphere, anyway.)
With the improvement in the weather, spending hours sitting inside writing may not look too appealing. But you don’t have to sacrifice writing to soak up the sun’s rays—take your writing outside and soak up some inspiration as well! Here are four ways you can take advantage of the good weather and use it to inspire your writing.
Take Walks to Reinvigorate Your Body and Mind
Take advantage of the fine weather, go for a stroll and let your imagination unfurl. While you’re walking, try out some of these muse kick-starters:
- Could what you see as you walk be used as inspiration for a setting in your latest story?
- What about any people you pass—could you use them as starting points for characters?
- Listen out for snatches of conversation and make a mental note of them for use in a scene later. What might have been said before the parts you heard and what might have come afterwards?
- Take in the sounds of nature around you. What might your characters infer about their setting if they could only hear these sounds?
Use Your Surroundings as Inspiration for a Scene or Story
Sit outside and use every sense at your disposal to describe your surroundings. What can you see? Hear? Taste? Smell? Feel? Now write a scene or short story set where you’re sitting.
Begin by describing the setting, then disturb one of the elements you just wrote about. If the birds are chirping cheerfully, let them fall eerily silent. If there’s a gentle breeze, turn it into a sudden, cold blast. If you can smell the subtle hints of flowers, introduce a touch of decay. What’s causing these unexpected disturbances and what will your character do about them?
Don’t Dismiss Bad Weather—Use It As Story Fodder!
Speaking as someone from the rainy north of England, summer does not always mean good weather. In fact, often it means rain, and sometimes, massive thunderstorms. Don’t let an influx of poor weather get you down—use it as another opportunity for inspiration! Let the rain be your background music, land your characters in the middle of a downpour, or even go outside in one yourself and absorb every sensation to write about later. Before you know it, the pitter-patter of raindrops will have your muse stirred up and ready to write.
Use the Day Length As a Story Starter
Write a story about creatures (or characters) that only come out at night. How does the coming of summer and shorter nights affect them? Are they forced out during the day and, if so, what are the consequences?
Alternatively, maybe your characters are strengthened by the sun and summer allows them to do things they otherwise couldn’t. The summer solstice (today, if you’re reading this as it posts!) could mark the height of their power, and the start of their decline. Perhaps they’ll take steps to make sure they retain that power, despite the shortening days following midsummer?
Summer is an incredibly inspiring time of year, so take full advantage of that and use it to recharge your imagination’s batteries. Try out some of the suggestions and prompts mentioned in this post, watch your writing flourish and, above all, enjoy yourself!
What’s your favourite thing about summer?