Ahh...the days of summer. It's the time when everyone goes on vacation and forgets about checking email. You know, when you don't bury yourself in work and to do lists. Right? Does that sound like you? Good. It should.
Taking a break from the writing you normally do is one of the best things that you can do to actually improve your skill. Think about it this way: your computer needs to be restarted every once in awhile. You do too.
So, this summer, as you kick back and try to relax, think about practicing these 3 summer styles of writing:
The Free Write
Sometimes, it just feels good to write something. Anything. Just let yourself go. Set yourself up with a typewriter and a few blank pages. Love to journal? Head outside with your book and pen. Or, if you're like me, you'll end up on the back porch. Sipping lemonade. At the laptop. Wherever you feel most comfortable, that's where you should go. Then, just start writing. Write what you're thinking about. Work from a quote. Come up with a question. Just go wherever your mind takes you.
This exercise in creativity is one that you should practice often, especially if you find yourself feeling writers block. Free writing can sometimes open up those creative channels and get the good ideas flowing. Plus, when you're free writing, you're writing for you - not a client.
Poetry is one of those things that you may have hated doing in high school, but it can actually help you as a copywriter. Poetry challenges you to distil your message into carefully selected words. Every word has a deeper meaning. Every phrase holds it own story. You have devices of language to play with.
Poetry is an art form that doesn't always have the greatest reputation, but it is just that: an art form. Try writing a poem. Make it rhyme or keep it free. Then, say it out loud. Let each word roll off your tongue. Savour each syllable. Fall back in love with your words and appreciate the power that just one can hold.
This summer, I've been working on #Trust30 posts to challenge myself to keep writing, even when I didn't feel the urge too. I found it to be an incredible exercise for both my mind and my character. The Trust 30 Challenge kept me writing - for myself - at least every week. It was one of the best gifts I've ever given myself. (Ed.: and those were some of her best posts; I looked forward to them in my RSS reader)
There are plenty of other challenges out there too that you can take part in this summer. Some of them will make you think outside the box. Others are just plain fun. Here's a few of my favorites:
- Trust 30
- Creative Copy Challenge
- The Twitter Writing Contest (it's over, but still great for practice!)
If these aren't your thing, get together with some friends and trade writing prompts. Pick a topic and go for it. Meet up once a week and share what you've created. Want to fly solo? Look for a book of writing prompts and keep your creations for yourself. Either way, you'll be challenging yourself to work within guidelines, which you'll need to do again once vacation is over. Only these guidelines are a lot more fun.
What's your summer style of writing?
Mandy Boyle is the Director of Internet Marketing at Net Driven. She is also a published freelance writer and co-founder of NEPA BlogCon. She enjoys theater, not taking herself seriously, and adventurous eating.