by Melissa Stoller
Last summer, I wrote a blog post titled “It’s All About . . . Summer Writing Prompts.” This summer certainly feels different. It may be hard to stay motivated. Perhaps it’s difficult to maintain your creativity. Story ideas may not be flowing.
In June, my blog post focused on “Staying Creative in Uncertain Times.” Here are more tips for writing, revising, and staying creative this summer when life may be challenging.
1) Read mentor texts. Immerse yourself in your genre or others. Take notes about ideas, book structures, and language that speak to you. Can any threads help form the basis of a new manuscript or add to an existing one?
2) Watch a TV show or movie. Children’s shows can be fantastic idea generators. Even adult shows can offer valuable lessons about plot, characters, and pacing. Do any spark an idea or a path forward with a revision?
3) Think about a summer memory that makes you smile. Maybe it’s a week at summer camp that you remember fondly from childhood. Or a yearly excursion with your family to a special summer destination. Perhaps it’s a trip that you have never taken but will one day soon. Describe sensory details about the adventure. Add some details to a work in progress.
4) Eat a food that you usually relish during the summer. Does an ice cream cone, corn on the cob, or summer fruit bring up a memory that you could turn into a story?
5) Take a summer walk. Race in the rain, gallop through a garden, stroll along the shore. Observe everything. You can even jot down ideas by glancing out your window. Can any observations lead to a new idea or to a new line in an existing work?
Wherever you are this summer, I hope that your creativity blossoms and soars. Please let me know in the comments.
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island and The Liberty Bell Train Ride (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017 and 2021); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush and Ready, Set, GOrilla! (Clear Fork, Fall 2018). Upcoming books include Sadie’s Shabbat Stories and Return of the Magic Paintbrush (CFP). Melissa is a Blogger and Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for the Debut Picture Book Study Group, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and long beach walks.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now trad. pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.