by | Aug 1, 2022 | Jenny Milchman, The Writer's Life | 3 comments

By Jenny Milchman

Summer on the beach. Relax.

Let’s face it, writing is never exactly easy. Even on the best days, when the words seem to appear on the screen by magic, to move from our brain to our electrified fingers like lightning bolts, we wind up flattened and enervated by EOD, as if we really did just experience 10,000 volts coursing through us.

But writing during the summer season comes with a few unique features. Read on to learn how to ease your way through your current WIP, take away tips for the writer in your life, or how your favorite author was able to serve up this summer’s blockbuster read.

How can summer help your writing?
  • Writing is a workout—a mental one. When the temperature is soaring, turn off the A/C in your writing space, or go outside with your laptop or notebook and write beneath the sun. As you sweat, feel that connection to working hard, and let the endorphins flow just like they do when you’re biking up a steep hill or in a gym. (Remember to follow this writing stint with a snack or smoothie just like you would a good workout—or possibly a fruit and herby cocktail?)
  • Long days before the sun begins to go down can trick your brain into thinking it isn’t time to stop writing yet. Who knows? You might look up and see you’ve been at it for hours past your usual. Marvel at the day’s word count! (Then knock off and take a well-earned break).
  • It’s easier to nourish yourself in the summer—all that bright, colorful produce spilling out of farmstands and supermarket bins. Let the vitamins and antioxidants that make you your best, healthiest you translate directly to your sharpest writing ever—your brain on fire before the season ends and everything takes a chill.
  • The long hours of bright summer sun do wonders for anybody who struggles with seasonal affective issues. Take note of your mood—is it happier? Let that joy appear on the page, or, if you’re writing a thriller, enable you to take gleeful delight in the impending danger and body count mounting. (Writers are weird—whodathunk?)
Is there anything quite as powerful; pr thought conducive as summer storms?
  • Nothing beats a summer storm for inspiration. (Just look how Snoopy started his books.) If the thunder begins to boom and the skies roil, sit right down and let the dramatic weather pack an impact on your work. For you advanced weirdos/writers out there, go outside and get wet beneath the pounding downpour. Without changing your clothes or drying off, get back to work and see what effect this has. (A standing desk where you can drip helps!)
  • Most of all, the slow, lazy pace of summer makes it easier to give yourself a break, not push so hard for a punishing word count or to get to the next scene—and letting up the pressure might be exactly what you need to get out of your own way and just write. (Keep the low key vibe going with a slow amble in the beautiful sunshine or a summer soiree after—no matter how many pages you did or didn’t produce today).
Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Karna Small Bodman

    Great suggestions here for summer writing!! I can certainly see how your own summer routines lead to such terrific novels, Jenny. Thanks for an inspiring post!

  2. Lisa Black

    I love the writing during a storm idea—and since it’s summer in Florida, we have them nearly every day.
    But not so down with trying to sit outside in 95 degree sun to do it…nuh uh for me. Just going out to get the mail involves sweating here, so I get enough of it on a daily basis!

  3. Gayle Lynds

    I so agree, Jenny. I love summer for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. Since I moved to Maine, I’ve been crazy about winter, too, with the snowy days and brilliant diamonds sparkling on fresh snow. But now, I’m definitely preferring summer, the ability to walk out the door without slapping on snowshoes, the beautiful birdsongs, and turkeys courting, the deer racing across our yard, and most of all the feeling in the air of birth and rebirth … all so good for this writer’s soul. Thanks, Jenny!