"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hot Tips to Keep Your "Mo-jo" Working-During the "dog days" of summer!

It's summer. And let's face it: most of us would rather be a "beach bum" than a blogger. True?
The mercury's hot and you wanna' chill.
But don't let a brief season sabotage the progress and success you've worked hard to achieve the other months of the year.
As the Good Book states, "moderation in all things."

There's an upside here: not only does summer usher in hot weather, it also offers endless opportunities for writers to earn extra dough through events of the season.

All that’s required is a little strategy and some ingenuity.
And the great thing is that these ideas work regardless as to where you live, or what genre you write.

Here’s how to explore various topics to potentially pen poems, essays, how-tos, features or fictional pieces and to earn hot cash in the process.

Make a list and check it twice.

Here’s what it might look like:


Graduations and Proms---A look at college career choices, a nostalgic look at your first love, or an essay on defining success for today’s graduate.

Summer reunions---this could include genealogy references, family recipes, or colorful characters.

Summer vacations---Great for travel writing pieces, rating of hotels and restaurants.

Summer gardening---Tips on successful planting, pictures of your back yard and stories of trial and error, or how to cultivate a green thumb.

Summer barbeques and recipes---How to use beer for tender barbeque, or the art of romantic picnics, or how to make the best baked beans.

Summer weddings---Wedding traditions and how not to become a “bride-zilla.” Unusual stories on how couples met. In fact, I just sold a lesson to Lifehack.org on "Bridezilla" weddings to the tune of 50 bucks.

At-home activities for kids—Arts and craft activities, how to host a book club for teens, summer safety tips. Time management for busy moms.

Summer fashions---Popular trends, hot sales, styles that flatter different figures, foot care for sandal wear.


Fourth of July
Labor Day

National “Awareness” Days

National Safety Month—June—Why and how it came into existence.
Parents’ Day---July---Gift-giving tips
Friendship Day---August
Grandparents’ Day---September
Special Olympics

Choose the most interesting and relevant topics based upon your interests and experiences, and narrow the list down.

For example, for me, since I’m an incurable romantic, summer weddings would definitely be at the top of my list. Summer barbeques would also be a definite possibility since I enjoy food and backyard barbeques. The weddings might inspire my romantic poetry or a personal essay, or even a how-to on planning an economical but beautiful wedding for penny-pinchers!

Address the 5 Ws of journalism: who, what, when, where, why. Don’t forget to provide colorful anecdotes and quotes to provide richness.

Start sketching and fleshing out viable ideas.
Ideally the more passionate you are about the subject, the easier and more enjoyable it is to write, and the less research required.

Identify potential markets.
This is almost a no-brainer. Wedding pieces would go to places like Today’s Bride or Bride’s Noir. Recipes would find a home at Taste of Home or Woman’s Day. You’ll also find a great database of magazine guidelines at Writing for Dollars. Once this is done, check the publication’s archives and their editorial calendars to identify the best time to approach the publication with a query or completed piece.

Follow these fabulous tips and you’ll find creative projects and pay to last the whole year!
Carpe diem!

Thoughts? Do you find it harder to be more productive and focused during the dog days of summer? Any secrets to staying on task? Do tell.

Image: SPFF


  1. Jennifer--I just went to "Writing for Dollars" and found an opportunity I'm going to pursue. Thanks.

    1. Sioux,

      How fabulous! Good luck...and keep us posted. :-) Thanks for starting us off today.

  2. Jennifer: I received an email about an anthology seeking submissions on a topic that I am interested in this year. I asked someone to critique it. I hope to get it submitted by the middle of the month.

    Were you aware that July is National Ice Cream month?

    1. quietspirit,

      How lovely to reconnect today. Kudos to you for the anthology; I hope you get your piece published.

      No, I didn't know. Sweet! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  3. I have been thinking about possibly experimenting with (co-)writing music lyrics.

    And as you can read in one of my older blogposts titled: 'Work & Play on the Beach', going to the beach can be an opportunity to read books for writing Book Reviews,

    It can also for example be a great time to read things like trade magazines (for example read more about how you to publish songs to music publishers etc. etc.)

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