Now that summer is here, I find myself sitting down to write for pleasure far more often than I do in the depths of winter. The combination of abundant daylight hours and traveling to other location creates the ideal environment for writing.
Technically, I write for a living, but during the workweek writing mostly comes in the form of headlines, photo captions, emails, Facebook and Twitter posts, and sticky notes placed squarely in front of me so as not to forget the reminders jotted on them. As an editor, I read a lot of other people’s writing, but don’t spend much time doing it myself. The weekends, and specifically weekends away, are my time to let the words hit the paper.
Last year while I was on vacation in Provincetown, Mass., a community known for its vibrant arts culture and home to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver, I was filled with inspiration. For a week I let the words build and marinate until I finally starting putting them together on paper. (Yes, pen to paper. I took a break from the laptop.) I’m not an artist, or even an art collector, but meandering in and out of the galleries that line Commercial Street added complexity to the words that were churning inside. Early morning bike rides and sunset excursions to the west-facing beaches also helped solidify the creativity I was feeling. A Corona or two made its way into that process as well.
Even when I’m not traveling, summer weekends are treasures. Weeknights, too. There is more possibility. More time in the day. More opportunity – and motivation – to write. What have you written this summer, and what do you count as your influences?