Hi, SE Readers. Joan here with another Five for Friday post. For those of you living in the US, I hope you enjoyed the holiday yesterday. And for our Canada friends, a belated Happy Canada Day.
It’s summer in the northern hemisphere – a time of shorter nights and longer days. Having decided that I detest cold weather, summer has become my favorite season. There are so many fun things to do, especially if you enjoy the outdoors.
And for me, the seasons is a more laid-back time. Yes, I write during the summer months, but not as much as I do during the winter. And there’s nothing wrong with taking it easy for a while unless you’re on a publisher’s deadline.
Today I’d like to share five favorite summer activities. Any or all of them can be useful to your writing.
Vacation! Take a road trip. Travel by train. Fly somewhere you’ve never visited. Go on a cruise. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. I love road trips because it enables me to see a lot of our beautiful country. Flying is quick and convenient. One of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever taken was an Alaskan cruise. There’s something nice about not having to worry where you’re going to stop for the night, needing to find a gas station, or deciding where you want to eat. I’ve been limited to day excursions when taking Amtrak, but sometime I would like to do a longer trip and get a sleeping car!
Read. Summer is a good time to catch up on your reading list. I don’t have the time to devote that I once did. Gone are the days when I would come home from work, grab a book and a glass of iced tea, and head for my backyard hammock, but I’m trying to fit in a little more reading this summer. I’m in between writing projects, so its a good time. Sadly, my TBR list grows faster than I can read.
Backyard cookouts/Camping. Who doesn’t enjoy getting outdoors more often? Backyard cookouts and/or pool parties are a great way to relax and have fun. It’s a good time to entertain friends or get to know your neighbors.
Or, if you really like the outdoors, take a camping trip. You don’t have to go far. Check your area for campsites. Fees are usually minimal even if you have a travel trailer or an RV. Tent camping is even cheaper. And it goes without saying, food cooked outdoors tastes so much better!
Local activities. Lots of things happen during the summer. Check your area for outdoor concerts, festivals, fairs, or celebrations. Often these events are free or there is a minimal charge. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a little entertainment. If you like baseball (Craig) and there is a major or minor league team nearby, take in a game. There’s something special about sitting in an outdoor stadium on a warm summer evening.
Take a staycation. Funds short? Don’t have the desire to take a long trip? Stay home. Relax. Enjoy. Do nothing. Refresh your mind. Everyone needs a break from their normal routine for a while.
I took a week the end of May. And while much of that time was used for a blog tour, it was nice to be able to sleep as late as I wanted and not have to dress for the office. I was able to recharge my mind as well as get some much needed physical rest. (Pet owners might have to share their favorite spot, but that’s okay.)
You may wonder how any of these things relate to writing. Whether you hold a day job or write full time, we all need a break. By taking a few days away from the keyboard, we come back refreshed and relaxed. We can generate new ideas. If we’re tired, weary and burned-out, our writing will show it. And any one of my suggestions are great ways to look for new story material. Engage in people watching or familiarize yourself with new surroundings. You might be surprised at what story ideas you come up with.
What’s some of your favorite summer activities? Please share in the comments.