Have you found your passion for writing? We all have a story to tell, and if you feel that now is the right time to tell yours, you should give yourself the best chances to make it happen. Writing a book is hard work, especially if you are new to the art of writing. However, whether you want to write your autobiography, the story of your family, or that perfect crime fiction you’ve been thinking about, there is no better time than the present.
As a beginner writer, you have a lot to learn and discover as you get ready to turn your thoughts into words on the paper. But don’t worry. You don’t need to tackle the new challenges on your own. You could turn your summer holiday into a writing retreat to gather all the inspiration, advice, and help you need to get started. Here is a short list of the essentials for a beginner writer to transform the summer break into the foundation of your writing adventure.
#1. Take some time off
Every professional writer can tell you that getting your book ready for publishing takes a lot of time and hard work. J.K. Rowling chose to leave her job as a teacher to focus on Harry Potter. It was the best decision she could have taken for the wizard’s world because you can’t combine day-to-day work with creative writing. While it doesn’t mean you should quit your job right now, you need to make sure you can dedicate some free time to your passion. This summer, you need to book some time off work to focus on your book. You will find it easier to get started when you’re not trying to catch up on your writing after a long day at work. Not only will this give you some thinking space far away from the hectic office life, but it’s also the best tip that professional writers could give you. As Stephen King says, you need to write every day. You’ll find it a lot easier to stick to the routine of writing when you’ve got nothing else to do.
#2. Find a writing retreat
You may not be familiar with writing retreats, but they offer a fantastic opportunity for new and experienced writers to focus on their work, undisturbed. Additionally, you can find a retreat that provides additional writing classes and tips so that you can surround yourself with tutors and instructors who are ready to help you as you start. Ideally, you want to pick a retreat away from home because it can help you to dedicate your time to your writing without having to worry about commuting back home after a long day. Most retreats provide accommodation to their guests. They offer the perfect environment to network with other writers and exchange tips and ideas. Besides, you will find it easier to maintain your motivation when you work with people who live and breathe only for writing. It’s the occasion to forget about your household chores and office jobs for the duration of your stay. Who needs distraction when you’re trying to write a bestseller?
#3. Treat it like a temporary relocation
Did you know that you could find high-quality writing retreat abroad? While not seize the opportunity to discover a new country by choosing a remote location? The typical retreat can last anything from a week to a few months, so if you’re going to make the most of it, you need to treat it like a relocation project rather than a holiday. If you’re going to spend your summer in a British writing retreat, for instance, why not check the network review UK to figure out the best network provider for your stay? This will stop you from incurring unnecessary high costs while you’re trying to blend in. Additionally, you want to create a frictionless environment so that you can focus on your writing. Using a local phone number will prevent many issues, such as organizing your local life with a foreign number!
#4. Visit your surroundings
Inspiration comes in a variety of shapes and forms. You can’t make the most of your writing holiday if you isolate yourself in a room all day. There are plenty of things to see around, and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of visiting your surroundings for the sake of writing. Indeed, you may be surprised to know that you’re going to be a much better writer if you take the time to appreciate the local lifestyle and sites. While you shouldn’t plan your entire writing holiday around seeing sites, there’s a lot to be said about organizing a weekend on the road to gain a better understanding of how people live there. If you’ve chosen a writing retreat in Europe, why not hop on the Eurostar train to travel and visit the neighboring countries? Did you know that you can visit Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and London with the Eurostar?
#5. Stay safe on your own
Admittedly, writing is a solitary journey inside your mind. Therefore, it’s fair to say that you will be traveling alone to your writing retreat. Traveling solo can be nerve-wracking as a woman , but you can follow a few simple safety tips to make sure it will be a positive experience. You can rely on the writing retreat to provide safe accommodation or to recommend safe hotels and B&B in the area. If you’re visiting the surrounding, make a point of never taking your original documents with you. Instead, take a copy of your passport – you can leave the passport in the safe in your room. This will avoid unpleasant surprises in case your wallet or bag gets stolen during the day. Making friends with the locals and the people on the retreat will give you a point of contact in case of problems. But, more importantly, you can rely on their help and protection if you are feeling unsafe.
#6. Buy a notebook
Where will you be when you get your big idea? The answer is that you don’t know. Therefore, you want to be prepared. Most writers recommend getting a notebook to scribble ideas as they appear. It doesn’t have to be perfectly organized, as it’s for your eyes only. You can make notes on the places you visit, or about the inspiring figures you meet during your trip, for instance. You can use it as a brain dump for all the thoughts that pop into your mind. It’s a great way of writing down every idea, and then you can choose what to do with them. Some ideas may not make it into your book, but at least you’ve got them on paper for the next time!
Alternatively, you can use the note function on your smartphone. Some people feel more comfortable using their phones, while others prefer the sensation of pen and paper. There is no right or wrong. More importantly, it’s all about what works for you.
#7. Don’t be afraid to share
A lot of new writers feel uncomfortable at the thought of sharing their draft with other people. A draft is an intimate path directly into your mind. However, you will need to share your story to reach out to your audience. A professional and experienced writer knows how to edit their manuscript before sharing the final draft. As you’re still in the process of learning, you don’t need to feel ashamed about showing your work to your tutors or peers at the writing retreat. People are keen to help, and you will learn plenty of tips on how to gauge your characters and improve your style. Additionally, you have to remember that you need to share to learn how to edit and improve. Your writing tutor will guide you through the process until you’re ready to rewrite your draft by yourself.
#8. Invest in software solutions that work
What kind of software writing tools should you use? If you still think that Microsoft Word is the best platform for your novel, now’s the time to consider investing in a tool that is specifically designed for writers. FocusWriter is a free app that blocks all distractions on your laptop while you write; therefore, you’re less likely to lose yourself in the latest cat video on Youtube! LibreOffice Writer is a fantastic alternative to MS Word because it comes with a full template gallery of layouts that are suitable for your manuscript. Alternatively, if you prefer to buy a professional solution, Scrivener is a favorite at only $40.
#9. A plan to continue after the summer
Let’s be realistic. You are unlikely to finish your first draft over the summer. And that’s okay! You can use the summer vacation as a starting platform to develop the right methodology and plan your draft. You will find it easier to carry on writing once you go back to your day-to-day routine if you’ve already got a plan to follow. You don’t need a deadline to finish your book. However, you need to make sure you can work on it regularly. The good habits you will learn during the retreat are detrimental to your future success.
Can you turn your idea into a bestselling book? There’s no reason why you couldn’t be an author. All you need is to invest some time into learning the basics of writing before you’re ready to tell your story. Make the summer break your writing vacation and tap into your creativity