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Water cooler: Summer writing prompts to stay creative in the heat

Getting outdoors with a pen and notepad can lead to a creative spark.  (Shutterstock)
Getting outdoors with a pen and notepad can lead to a creative spark. (Shutterstock)

Stories are a gateway to splendid adventures and worlds entirely of our making. Use summer as a source of inspiration and get your imagination fired up. It’s the perfect escape while we continue to hunker down during the pandemic.

If you need an idea to get started, consider a few of these prompts. You can alter them or even combine them to add a custom twist.

What activities do you enjoy with your friends and family that are special for the summer ? These can be things like going to the lake, visiting national parks, dusting off the Slip ‘N Slide for backyard fun, cooking outside or family reunions.

Describe your perfect summer day from start to finish. What time would you get up? What would you eat? Where would you go? Who would you play with?

Where is your favorite place to swim? Do you prefer the lake or the pool? Or maybe you like oceans or rivers. What makes it your favorite?

Describe the summer using your five senses. What does summer look like? How does it sound? What kinds of things do you get to taste during the summer? What kinds of things do you get to touch and feel? How does it smell?

It’s a pretty sad day when summer ends, but you can imagine a summer that never does. Write a story about summer that lasts forever.

What are a few things that you’d like to accomplish this summer? It could be anything from setting a record for how long you can hold your breath, to finishing a certain number or books, beating a hard video game, redecorating your room or anything else you can think of. Describe your ideas on what it will take to accomplish your goals.

Describe your favorite summer memory so far. How does it begin? What happens in the middle? How does it end? Why is it your favorite?

What kind of imaginary or real creatures does summer make you think of? Get some ideas from the things around you or places you visit during summer. Maybe there’s a creature on the beach or the depths of the ocean. What about a giant ice cream monster? Or what if your favorite floaty was real and you got to swim the lake on the back of a dragon or a dolphin or a dinosaur?

Write about how this summer compares to other summers. It’s been a unique year for all of us. There may be some bad things about it, but there could be some good things, too. There are certain activities we can’t do like group activities and camps, but we also get to spend more time with our families.

Describe how you feel about it and don’t be afraid to be honest. Writing is a great way to express your feelings.

Deciding on a prompt is a good way to start, but sometimes the hardest part is sitting down and writing. If you need a little extra help to get going, try making your writing time a special time.

Maybe you have a special place that’s all your own where you like to spend time, like your room, under your favorite tree, in a backyard tent, at the park, or maybe a tree house if you have one.

Or on the other hand, maybe writing for you is easier as a group activity. Get your family and friends involved, whether it be in person or on a video call. This way you can share ideas, encourage each other and even share your finished story.

You could even meet up in a special place, like your favorite spot at the park and write in the grass. There’s lots of writing ideas outside.

Whatever you do, have fun and let your imagination run wild!

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