For writers, this season is ripe with juicy creative possibility. I'm getting the message loud and clear from all my lovelies that summer is a busy time for their family - there are vacations, day trips, time spent with kids, a whole new routine to get used to, in essence. And for my writers who don't have families, this season means an opportunity for a social life and some well-deserved R&R. Despite the siren's tempting summer call, they want to write and see their work moving forward, taking shape. Alas, there's pressure - to have a somewhat social and enjoyable summer and still be creatively productive.
The Answer: if the summer siren won't back down, give in and play a little (after all, you need something to write about, right?). Forget about page or word count if you're having difficulty breaking through and connecting one scene to the next. You'll push and push and eventually end up with a chapter that reflects the disconnect. Instead, I want you to focus on SCENE. Write a scene that takes your characters to the next level in their development. Write a scene that gives your characters context. Write a scene that moves your plot forward. Write a scene that is tight, where every word counts, that moves you and that will move us. Give it texture and flavor - put your reader in the moment. These don't need to be high concept, big blockbuster scenes - they just need to count. Put all your creative energy into that one scene and forget about word and page count. Allow yourself to be totally in the moment with your craft and let it take you somewhere. Enjoy your trip!
The Result: after writing several powerful scenes, you'll not only enjoy forward momentum with your work, you'll have reconnected with two of your most powerful creative tools - passion and the senses. You may forget these good friends while being bogged down with word and page count goals or are rushing to get something to an agent before they forget about you (they will only forget about you if you turn in something less than inspired. They'd rather wait for perfection).
There is no rush, writers. Take time to enjoy the season and let it inspire your creativity. Live a little and give us something juicy to sink our teeth into!
Your Action: If you're stuck mid-draft (or have yet to begin), take a break and do a little summer living - GO OUTSIDE OR SOMEWHERE FOR SEVERAL HOURS (I don't care how humid it is). Come back to your pen ready to write a scene that captures your experience or insert the people you met or observed and write about them! If you must write about how much you hate humidity...at least write a scene where you or your character is dealing with the sweltering heat WHILE doing something else (let's see 'em sweat!). I'd love to know what you come up with.
Extra credit for those who blog this exercise. Post the link with your comment so others can check out your work and I will too. (I review all comments before I post, so please, keep it classy.)
Have a fruitful week, writers!