In the light of the summer sun, ideas become clearer and inspiration shines in the shimmering blue waters of the local pool. I savored my summers when I was a child—and even now as an adult. They are the perfect time to focus on just one or two projects or goals and slow down just a bit to enjoy a trip to a new place or to sip iced tea on the back porch. Whether poolside or traveling, I always take a notebook and a pen or pencil with me in order to practice writing. Writing then, doesn’t have to take a summer vacation—but it needn’t be painful, either. The following list contains five different activities you could do throughout the week to practice writing skills within a one-hour or thirty minute session five days a week in the summer months:
Day 1: Find a factual article online or in print that introduces an interesting or new idea. Present an argument that tells readers three reasons why this new idea should or should not be embraced.
Day 2: Check out a book of short stories or poems from the library—or treat yourself to buying a book of short stories/poems. Choose one short story or poem and identify the theme. Then, choose three images or literary devices that draw out that theme and explain why they’re important to know.
Day 3: Find an essay or opinion piece online and identify the author’s purpose for writing. Discuss how the author uses rhetorical elements of pathos (emotion), ethos (ethics), or logos (logic) to argue his/her points.
Day 4: Keep a journal of thoughts and ideas and/or feelings/emotions. Writing can be therapeutic as well as a way to argue points and communicate effective messages. This journal could also serve as a place to generate ideas for papers that might crop up during the school year.
Day 5: Find writing prompts online or make up your own in order to create poems, stories, plays, or video game scripts—just for fun.
The activities above don’t have to interfere with your regular schedule. They can be worked into those moments in your day when you’re waiting for an appointment or traveling on a plane or in a car. Or, you could treat yourself to a “coffee shop moment” surrounded by soft music—or in the beauty of nature—collecting your thoughts, writing them down, and gaining confidence in the quiet and more relaxed spaces that summer can bring.