Put the Spirit of Summer in Your Writing

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“Let July be July.

Let August be August.

And let yourself

just be

even in

the uncertainty.

You don’t have to fix


You don’t have solve


And you can still

find peace

and grow

in the wild

of changing things.”

— Morgan Harper Nichols, from Let July be July

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Summer reminds me of this memory I had from a writing retreat one year, where I read aloud from a dramatic piece I wrote about being attacked by a pit bull when I was 23.

I read this at a writers retreat in Doe Bay, on Washington’s Orca Island, incidentally home to some confrontational raccoons. We were standing at the top of the stairs, and they literally started climbing toward us. At the fire that night, we shined a flashlight into the darkness and realized we were surrounded.

In my bunk at midnight, I wrote a parody of my pit bull story by swapping the dog for raccoons, and an attack for them stealing our food.

I read the story around 2 a.m. to my tipsy roommate, her giggling under her covers. Immediately after, my ancient laptop crashed, and I lost the piece forever.

It brought me joy to write it, it brought a reader joy when I read it, and then it was gone. A single serving piece of art.

We never know how far our writing will go. Perhaps only as far as this moment. This notebook.

I try to make summer a time to find the simple pleasures in writing again. Appreciate where I’m blooming at this moment. Share in the community of our creative lives. Make memories and celebrate the path.

For a change, try reveling in your creative practice for the right here, right now. This writing magic is unpredictable, and it becomes even more elusive if you don’t give yourself the space for it. 

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