“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” -William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18
Summer always seems too short to me (especially in New York). We have 3 months to enjoy vegetable and flower gardens. Two months to enjoy swimming in pools, and Adirondack lakes. So, I feel the best way to capture the experience of summer is in my writer’s notebook. And when I can’t figure out what to freewrite, I draw from a list of summer writing prompts.
Why should you write in the summer?
There are really 2 important reasons why you should write in the summer.
The first is because it helps you recognize the importance of what is around you and not take nature for granted. We may or may not always have it.
When I first wrote that sentence it was 2019, and while I thought summer might change in ten, twenty, or twenty-five years, I did not anticipate it changing in 2020. That year, my state had shut down and some of the activities I suggested below wouldn’t be possible. Now, I know summer is fleeting, more than even Shakespeare knew.
You must experience summer and put it into words so that you can recollect it later–when it is no longer what it is today.
The second reason you should write this summer is it will make you a better writer. Writing is hard work, and you only get better the more you do it. One of the best ways to build your writing muscles is by writing all year. The simplest way to do that is by keeping a writer’s notebook. If you want to know more about a writer’s notebook read my blog post, “10 Terrific Writer’s Notebook Ideas” https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/10-terrific-writers-notebook-ideas/.
So, how do you get ideas for what to write about? There are all types of writing prompts you can use at any time. I have blogged about many of them. But, there are writing topics I love to do in summer. These are 11 fun and creative writing prompts that are perfect for this season. Try them and see which ones inspire you.
11 Excellent Summer Writing Prompts
#1 Write about your favorite place to go in the summer.
Where do you like to spend your time? I suggest writing at that place unless of course, you’re at an amusement park riding rollercoasters. Writing in that location will help you describe the experience of seeing and being in that place.
#2 Write about your summer job.
Describe what it is, any other people involved, what you like/dislike about it. If you don’t have a summer job, use some other kind of work or chore you do during the summer (gardening, babysitting, pet sitting, cleaning, etc.). Chose something that you have to do. Write about what the experience is like, and/or your feelings about it.
Try to describe what one day of work was like.
#3 Write a dialogue scene that takes place in the summer.
This prompt is a fun creative writing activity. Imagine some people in a particular place and what they are doing. Then write about a conversation they are having. This scene might inspire you to write a story.
#4 Imagine a summer scene and describe it.
Close your eyes and create in your mind a scene with summer as the setting. Maybe it is a scene at the ocean, or in a city on a humid day when steam is rising off the pavement. Whatever it is, add as much sensory detail as you can to the vision. Focus on the scene. Then open your eyes and write about it.
#5 Go to a public place and write.
Visit a park, farmer’s market, or some other outdoor spot. Freewrite whatever comes to your mind. This is a great writing prompt especially if you are a “people watcher.” What do you notice happening? Does it trigger any kind of story in your head?
#6 Write at a café or teahouse.
Order something to eat and/or drink. Watch people, listen to their conversations, and write down what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel there. I like doing this activity because it inspires me to do a lot of creative writing. It helps me write better descriptions of scenes in short stories and novels. It also helps me writing interesting dialogue. Subtle people-watching (spying) others can inspire all kinds of fiction or poetry.
#7 Describe a summer activity you dislike as if it is something you love to do.
This writing prompt is challenging, but you’ll find writing about something negative in a positive light is a way to see the good in those things you dread. You can also do this is in reverse. Write about something you enjoy doing as if it is something you hate doing.
When you’re down look at it and ask yourself, was it hard, fun? Did anything surprise you in your writing?
#8 Create a summer reading journal.
Read a book and express your thoughts about it. As you read, reflect on what you feel or think about the book. Do you like it? Is reading it an emotional experience? Are you bored? How do you feel about the writer? If there is something that frustrates you or upsets you, dive into that part of the book. Record those things in a reading journal
After you finish reading it, write a letter or email to a friend about why they should or shouldn’t read it. You could vary this activity and turn it into a blog post.
#9 Write about the same place at different times of the day.
Take a photo of a place in the morning. Then take a photo of that same place in the afternoon. Finally, take a photo of that place in the evening or night. For each photo describe what you see and what you experienced.
#10 Take a hike and write about it.
Go on a hike, and take a lot of photos. I suggest not going alone. Be safe and aware of your surroundings. When you finish walking or climbing, recollect what it was like. Look at the photos you took. Then write about your hike.
Bonus: Share that piece with others and ask them what images they saw in their mind. Compare their thoughts with the photos you took. What was different or similar?
#11 Write about water.
It could be something you do in the water like swimming, fishing, kayaking, boating, etc. You could focus on a particular body of water, pond, lake, river, ocean, or even pool. You could write about drinking water on a hot day.
How does the water feel on your skin or how does it taste? What is it like to dive into it compared to wading into the water? Describe the water in as much detail as you can. This a wonderful topic for anyone who writes poetry.
Be Creative with Summer Writing Prompts
Grab a writing notebook and see if these summer writing topics inspire you. William Shakespeare was right about summer being too short, but through writing, you can extend the season. And when it ends you can open up your journal and go back to those summer days you wrote about.
Shakespeare memorialized experiences through his sonnets and plays. You can do the same in your writer’s notebook.
If you like these summer writing prompts, please share them online and with anyone else you know who is interested in writing. or Pin this post to Pinterest.