Why Summer Break Can Be a Great Time to Work on Your Manuscript
For many educators, the period of time between the end of the Spring term and the start of the Fall term represents a unique window for creativity and productivity. If you’re interested in writing or editing a textbook, summer break can be a perfect time for ideation, organization, and drafting.
During the summer, you can often dedicate more time and focus to a writing project. With fewer teaching responsibilities, it can be easier to create a consistent writing schedule – and stick to it. You’re likely to progress more quickly with your textbook project, and this writing sprint can keep you motivated and driven.
For additional tips on pre-writing strategies, read our article Get It Right Before You Write: Pre-Writing Strategies for Success. For tips on setting a realistic and sustainable writing schedule, read Staying on Track: Setting Realistic Writing Goals and Sticking to Them.
Working on a writing project over the summer can also help you to maintain your regular work rhythm and schedule. During the blocks of time you’d generally use to teach or prepare lessons, you can work on your manuscript. Many authors find the writing process therapeutic, relaxing, and a unique way to re-engage with their subject of expertise or rejuvenate their thoughts.
If you’re working with coauthors, contributors, or student assistants, the likelihood that they’ll have more time available during the summer is greater as well, which can make collaboration and delegation that much easier and more attainable.
During the summer, you can also change up your scenery, a simple act that is conducive to inspiration and creativity. If you live somewhere where the weather is nice, consider writing outside or going on walks between writing sections or chapters to refresh your mind and body. If the weather isn’t appropriate for excursions, you can cultivate your own space within your home that can serve as a writing nook. Sometimes, a change in your environment can work wonders for your imagination.
This summer in particular, you may feel an extra sense of relief as COVID-19 vaccination numbers rise and cities, states, and institutions begin to reopen. If you’re feeling creative, inspired, and hopeful, consider channeling some of that energy into your project.
Lastly, don’t feel like you need to do everything over the summer. Though you may have more time, you don’t need to sacrifice your entire break for your writing project! Maybe you use the summer to create a detailed table of contents. Perhaps you use the break to think through the pedagogical elements that you’d like to include in your textbook. If summertime is your time to recharge, but you’d still like to make progress or use the time, you may choose to set aside only a single morning a week or a specific block of a time during a particular month. There’s no right or wrong way to work on a project over the summer – only what works best for you.
If you have additional suggestions for fellow colleagues and authors looking to optimize the summer season for writing, leave your comments below.