What are your writing plans for the summer?

What are your plans for the summer? Are things staying the same or do you have a project in mind? Maybe it isn’t summer where you are but what are your plans, anyway? Here in the UK, I’ve been away from a regular, paid job since 1st May. This is intentional, I’m trying to use the time to write more and to be with my family. My 16 year old daughter has been on holiday since she finished her GCSE exams in mid-June. My 14 year old son finishes school next week and we’re all off (me, husband, teenagers) to north Portugal for a family holiday. I’m wondering where writing is going to fit into all of this. But I’m determined to squeeze it in, somehow!

I’m still reading through the submissions I received for And Other Poems and scheduling poems to appear in the Autumn. As soon as I’ve responded to everyone who sent poems, which if I put my mind to it and get on with it, should be by early next week, I’d really, really like to clear my desk and focus on my own writing. I keep a list of poems I’ve made some progress with but haven’t yet finished and whenever I’m given a block of time, I try to focus on completing some. A few poems have been there for several years. So I’d like to be able to devote myself to this list and will certainly be taking it with me on holiday. Although there’ll be Wi-Fi, I’m going to try to unplug which I know will free-up an hour or two a day.

Later on today, Sunday, I’m going to a workshop in Bradford-on-Avon with Philip Gross. I heard him read in Bath once and liked his work and liked him so when Dawn Gorman sent details of the workshop, I signed up. It will be a treat to be away from the house, away from my everyday life, and to have the chance to think about writing.

In terms of my writing and submissions generally, I haven’t had a huge amount of success this year but, importantly for me, this hasn’t affected my mood or my writing confidence (much!). Sure, I’ve been disappointed but I haven’t allowed my disappointment to swamp my writing energy. Time away from my poems while they’ve been out for consideration has given me much-needed distance from my work, so I’ve been able to re-assess a poem with a cool eye when it’s been returned to me, rejected. I’ve recognised flaws, re-drafted and sent out again, somewhere else. I’ve also acknowledged what’s good about a poem, what’s working and, in one instance, I hardly changed a poem at all, decided it’s a good poem, not for that particular editor, too bad, sent it out to another. This is a big change and a sign that I’m becoming much more confident about my work (this week, in any case – yes, I fluctuate madly).

me relaxing July 2015I fully intend to allow myself some time off over the summer. To read more. This is crucial to my writing so I’m packing a few books in my suitcase. Although I own an e-Reader, I much prefer to read physical books, I find it more relaxing. I’m going to make a few notes about what I’m reading, start writing a reading journal again. I find it very difficult to talk about books, to say why precisely what it is about a piece of writing that moves me. It might be a confidence thing and a self-consciousness. Writing about such matters on this blog feels quite exposing but I’d like to overcome my nervousness and have a go at writing about what I’m reading. It’s on my list of things I’d like to do.

Well, I’ve shared a few of my plans for the summer, perhaps you’d like to tell me what you’ll be up to? Hope you enjoy yourself, whatever you do.

13 thoughts on “What are your writing plans for the summer?”

  1. I hope you get to enjoy your holiday (and get some writing done). I’m finishing a screenplay this summer while also trying to enter competitions etc. It’s hard to keep up with everything but I’m obviously enjoying it (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

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  2. Good article here on summer, I find that if I walk away from writing and go travelling somewhere, I always come back with at least one new good idea, then I’m happy to create again and put it to paper. I need that spark of inspiration to write, even in the middle of the night, can’t just sit there and do it.

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    1. I always take a notebook with me if at all possible, even when I’m travelling. I feel at a loss without it. I agree that time away can provide fresh inspiration. Thanks for commenting and enjoy the rest of the summer!


  3. Lovely post, Josephine. That all sounds so good. Make the most if the family hols… I’m off to Lumb Bank tomorrow with Helena Nelson and Helen Tookey. Then a group visit to Grayson Perry exhibition in Margate, Wilderness Festival with daughter in camper van, reading in Totnes with ‘I am not a Silent Poet’ group. And in between all those, time to breathe, walk, read, write — even! 🙂

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  4. Have a lovely time, Josephine. I always try to keep a holiday diary as inspiration for later on. Sometimes it just has place names or plant names etc.(or a list of birds I have seen), but these can add authenticity to a poem that may emerge at a future point! … Or so I tell myself.

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  5. Enjoy your trip to Portugal Josephine. We’re not going away over the summer but will try to fit in days out here and there. I know exactly what you mean about responding to books, I feel the same. I take part most weeks in #FridayReads on Twitter but don’t publicly criticise a book and only tweet praise if I’ve enjoyed it. I feel it’s because I know how hard it is to write a novel and how much it means to the author that I don’t like to be negative. During my MLitt course we had to keep a Reading Journal and it was my least favourite exercise as I found it hard to express exactly why a book influenced my own writing. Look forward to hearing how you get on with your journal.

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    1. So it’s not only me then! I might start taking part in #FridayReads – I hadn’t really understood what that was about. I don’t want to criticise writing but I would like to write more engaged and insightful comments about what I’m reading. Thanks, as always, for commenting. Enjoy the summer!

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  6. Have a great holiday and donn’t fret if writing doesn’t happen. I’m just back from a week in the UK with my daughter, which is the nearest I get to a holiday.I struggled to write a couple of small poems. Now my laptop is re-equipped with Word, I hope the small w words will start flowing again.

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