Saturday, June 7, 2008

WORD: What Does Summer Mean to a Writer?

by Gabrielle Linnell

When I Google-image "Summer," this image appears.
Somehow, to the Higher Power of Google, this means summer. This is either because of the American love of camping or this particular resort's advertising budget. Still: summer it is. So what does summer mean to a WriTeen, who is generally free during the summer?

Lots of free time. School is out. Will this summer mean getting ready for the NFL or getting published? One can do both, and without devouting your waking hours to the solace of a computer.

Library stalking. Ask an author for writing advice, they will always tell you to read. So read! While our gas prices go up and our book budgets decrease from nil to zilch, use the one of the best-run government institutions known to America (and other countries): our public library system. Ask to volunteer, and always have a full library card.

Consider joining our freelance writing camp. Whether alone or with millions, I will be setting aside several hours a day (okay, maybe 1.5) to work on freelance projects. As previously advertised, this means procrastination, theme songs and lots of YouTube videos involving musicals.

Talk to colleges about English programs. If you are nearing the collegebound age and are traveling to visit different universities, make a point to talk to English professors and admissions counselors about your love for writing. Will the professors at XYZ College help you get published? What kind of guest speakers do they get? What about their literary magazines?

I always start out with summer resolutions and end up with memories of seeing every Monk episode ever taped. However, out of three past summers I've ended up with two manuscripts and several clips: it IS possible. Summer starts in just a few weeks: be ready with your laptop in hand.

Gabrielle Linnell has a history of insane summers along with a resume of 25 or so published clips. She enjoys Psych more than Monk now.

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