Day 8: Plans for a Productive Summer

As the retreat comes to a close, I want to express what a productive and inspiring experience these past two weeks have been. Hearing everyone share their work during “author’s chair” (both today and yesterday) was the perfect way to end this course, and I’m amazed by everyone’s phenomenal talent and unique perspectives. I look forward to getting to work with some of this group again in the fall, but for everyone who is moving onto new adventures, I wish you all the best of luck and look forward to seeing what you all accomplish as writers! 

As we move into the summer, I’m starting to think about how I want to move forward as a writer. I definitely want to continue writing this memoir by adding more vignettes and expanding on the ones I already have. I also hope to develop a loose summer writing schedule so that I can hold myself accountable for getting some words onto the page; I have the summer off from work, so I should have plenty of time to write. Of course, I also want the chance to relax after a year of teaching full time while attending grad school, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I don’t end up writing as much as I’d planned. 

My (very loose) plan is to set aside at least two days a week specifically dedicated to continuing this memoir. However, I also have some poetry in my drafts folder that I’d like to dust off and perfect, so I want to set aside some time for writing, editing, and seeking publication of my poems. In addition, I’ve really enjoyed the practice of freewriting to answer “write into the day” prompts, so I’m going to take at least one day out of the week to do some freewriting in order to reflect on my creative writing, to ponder possible thesis topics, and to work through my ideas and emotions. Finally, I want to keep up the practice of taking daily writer’s walks to get those creative juices flowing, so every morning before lunchtime I plan to take a walk around the neighborhood or find some nice nature trails to explore. 

So, my summer schedule should look something like this:

  • Mondays: Memoir writing and editing 
  • Tuesdays: Poetry writing, editing, and (hopefully) publishing
  • Wednesdays: Memoir 
  • Thursdays: Poetry 
  • Fridays: Freewriting

I expect I won’t be able to stick to this schedule every single week; this summer, I have plans to move into a new house, to celebrate my first wedding anniversary, and to drink orange crushes on the beach, so I’ll probably miss a few days of writing here and there. I also expect that I might get randomly inspired to write something totally different—such as a fictional short story—so if that happens, I’m just going to go with the flow and write whenever inspiration strikes. But my hope is that having outlined the above schedule will help me be productive even when inspiration isn’t striking. 

I want to end by again saying how amazing it has been to work with such a talented group of writers during this retreat. I hope everyone has a great summer, and I wish you all the best of luck in your future writing endeavors!