Friday, July 3, 2015

Taking the Art of Writing Outdoors

Summer is here and the weather is great - for the most part!
Do you use those lazy days to do things you love to do or are you busy running kids from activity to activity to keep them busy the entire summer? Whatever your plans, be sure to bring a book.

Personally, I love summer. I love the lazy mornings (my "real" job doesn't start until afternoons) and try to spend that time either writing or reading. BWL has so many great authors with so many books I'm still working my way through the list! Both my reading and writing habits have changed over the years, and sometimes they change from season to season. Summer screams for lighter, fluffier books. Books that my brain doesn't have to work hard to read. Brain candy.

Writing in the summer has its advantages as well. It's much easier to grab a pen and pad of paper and go to the park, or the beach. Sometimes a change in venue can give you a fresh perspective and some new ideas.

Writing less in isolation and more around other people, can give you new character ideas and situations. I had the pleasure of hanging around a teenage girl yesterday I would love to use as a base for a new character. Spunky and outspoken, she started off a little abrasive, but we quickly connected and discovered commonality despite the age difference. I've had the same experience at a writing retreat near a river in a little house that resembles a lighthouse.

Writing in new settings can give you more detail into your own stories. The grit of the beach beneath your body, the hot sun on your skin, the irritating buzz of a mosquito, the squawk of a seagull who really wants your bag of potato chips... At your writing desk, you need to delve into your imagination for those minute details. Out in the real world, they attack you from all sides and you have a veritable buffet of stimuli to choose from.

An author's work takes on a different tone when they are relaxed and "in the flow." Words flow from the pen (or keyboard) at an amazing rate and seem to magically create scenes we normally couldn't write if we were forced. The mind tends to wander more and bring back many more "what if's" for us to use.

Writer or reader, take the time to bring a book outside.
Read in nature.
Write in nature.
Enjoy all the opportunities summer brings and find the time to enjoy a good book!

By Diane Bator