Monday, August 9, 2010

Variety is the Spice of Life!

There's the old adage for writers to write about what you know, which will always stand us in good stead. I personally believe that you should also write about whatever you can find out! And at a workshop I was running at the Caerleon Writers Holiday, we also discussed the issue that writers need to get away from their desks and do something different from time to time. After all, this will give you something new to write about, whether you write non-fiction or fiction.

So, here's a list of things you could consider for each month of the year, to drag yourself away from your computer, to inspire you to write more. Please note that not every suggestion will be suitable for you, nor were some of the suggestions sensible, but this was the last workshop of the course and we'd all had a late night the night before!

January
  • Go stargazing. Watch out for meteor showers.
  • Plan your writing goals for the year ahead.
  • Go to a New Year's party.
  • Go to a Burn's Night supper
  • Hit the January Sales.
  • Make a snowman (or snow writer!)
February
  • Go to a Valentine's party. (Yes, one workshop attendee was very 'party orientated!)
  • Go to the Winter Writers Workshop Weekend at Fishguard, Wales. 
  • Browse the travel agents for a holiday.
  • Go in search of spring flowers.
  • Sign up to an Arvon Foundation course.
March
  • Have a St David's Day party!
  • Explore your home town as if you were a tourist. 
  • Do a day trip using only public transport. (One for the rural dwellers!)
  • Sign up for a charity event.
  • Do something mad - March Madness - book yourself of a pig rearing course!
April
  • Have an Easter party! 
  • Go on an Easter Egg Hunt
  • Go cloud spotting.
  • Visit and art gallery.
  • Go to the London Book Fair.
  • Run the London Marathon - or just go along and cheer on the runners.
  • Celebrate St George's Day (or not, depending upon where you live.)
  • Celebrate Shakespeare's birthday.
May
  • Go May Pole dancing!
  • Go to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
  • Visit the Asparagus Festival 
  • Look for May Blossom.
  • Look for other local customs and festivals taking place in your area.
June
  • Visit the Hay on Wye literary festival.
  • Midsummer's Day - get up early and watch the summer solstice. Go to Stonehenge, make friends with a druid!
  • Have a day at the races - got to Royal Ascot. 
  • Glastonbury Festival. Go for the mud, enjoy the sun?
  • Join a village cricket team.
  • Support a british player at Wimbledon. (won't keep you busy for too long!)
July
  • Go to the Caerleon Writers Holiday!
  • Join the kids on an organised activity day, when school has broken up.
  • Have a swimming pool party!
  • Go to the Ledbury Poetry festival.
  • Enjoy the Buxton Music Festival.
  • Go to the Cheltemham Music Festival.
  • Go swimming in the sea.
August
  • Another good opportunity to watch meteor showers.
  • Go to a folk festival.
  • Have a BBQ party!
  • Watch the hot air balloons at the Bristol Balloon Festival.
  • Instead of sitting at your desk, go and write sitting out in the garden.
  • Go on the Swanwick Writers Summer School.
  • Join everyone else on a day trip to the coast on Bank Holiday Monday. 
September
  • It's back to school for everyone - join a new evening class, on any subject.
  • Sign up for an Open University course.
  • Go Bat watching.
  • Help a farmer harvesting.
  • Spend a day topping up with new stationery!  
October
  • Go to the Cheltenham Literature festival
  • Have a Halloween party!
  • Visit an Arboretum.
  • Collect conkers.
  • Go trick or treating.
November
  • Have a bonfire night party!
  • Sign up for NaNoWriMo (write 50,000 words of your next novel in November.)
  • Go to one of the National Trust's "Putting the House To Bed" tours, where they show you how a large country house winds down for winter.
December
  • Go to a special Christmas Market.
  • Have a winter Pimms party!
  • Go on a spa break whilst others are dashing to do the Christmas shopping!
  • Watch a children's nativity play. 
As I said at the beginning, not every suggestion will be appropriate, but the message behind this post is this:

Try to do some thing different at least once a month.

Don't shut yourself away in your writing garret. Get out and do something. You never know what you may find yourself writing about next.

Good luck!

(and if anyone else has any other suggestions, comment below and share them with the rest of us.)

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