Make August Productive: Don’t Write

800px-Woman_reading_at_the_beachAugust is here, and so are the dog days of summer. Maybe you’re planning to spend the month preparing for the upcoming school year. Maybe you’re scheduled to take that much-needed vacation. You might just want to spend the final weeks of summer at home, relaxing under a shade tree. Whatever you’ve got in store for the month, here’s a suggestion for something not to do: write. Seriously write, that is. Taking a break from writing can actually do a whole lot of good by helping you refresh, rejuvenate, and write better when it’s time to return full force to your craft.

Here are a few of the ways I plan to “write” in August. Try these out for yourself. You might be surprised at how much you’ll achieve this month—without creating a single draft.

  1. Read helpful books. Learn something from another writer by adding a writing book to your summer reading list. Consider one of these noteworthy recommendations:  Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do (Meredith Maran), Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction (Kidder and Todd), and Letters to J.D. Salinger (Kubica and Hochman).
  2. Research writing classes. It’s never a bad idea to take a writing class, even for the most seasoned writers. You can always learn something new, and fall is a great time to go back to school. I have a few classes on my list already; it’s just a matter of thinking them through and choosing the right course.
  3. Develop a fall writing plan. I’m halfway through my fall writing agenda, where I’ve listed all the projects I can think of that I’d like to work on come September. I’ve also got a list of those writing classes I plan to further research and a few follow-up reminders for projects I’ve already completed.
  4. Update your website and social media. Does your website need some freshening up? What about your profiles on your social media sites? Adding new photos, updating writing credits, providing new links, and expanding your bio can all uplift and enhance these all-import sites.
  5. Connect with other writers. Networking is such a big part of making it as a freelancer today. If you haven’t reached out to other writers and professional contacts, now’s a good time to do it. Use your social media outlets to make connections or attend local writing and reading events.

There are many other ways to work at your writing without actually writing. Use this month to concentrate on those activities. They’ll make sitting back down at your computer at summers’ end that much more successful.

Image by: El coleccionista de instantes

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