How I Spent My Summer Vacation (AKA My Break from Writing)

If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know that I spent this summer finishing a full draft of my first novel.
I’ll write about what I learned from that experience soon, but right now, I’m trying to avoid even thinking about that piece of writing.  I’ve been taking my own advice (and the advice of many others) and enjoying a break.  Fortunately, this break coincides with my brief school vacation.  When I return to my novel with a big ol’ red pen, I will also be returning to college for my final year!
So in the spirit of not thinking about novel-writing, I’ll just tell you a little bit about what I’ve been up to during this break.  So far, I have…

1. Traveled to Portland, OR.

This was a ton of fun.  Between the plethora of food trucks, scenic river, and sunshine (I know it’s unusual, but it only rained once while we were there!), there was little to dislike about this city.

portland collage

2. Binge-watched Orange is the New Black.  

This is another entertaining show from Jenji Kohan, though I felt that it falls victim to some of the same problems as Kohan’s previous show, Weeds: namely that the plot arcs within each episode don’t have quite enough tension to hold my attention for one hour, and sometime it’s a little melodramatic for my taste.  But it’s also laugh-out-loud funny, and all the characters are well-written…even downright lovable!

3. Finally read a full volume of Tin House literary magazine.

I got a year’s subscription as a gift, but I’ve only looked at bits of pieces of the magazine before.  It was especially inspiring as I start thinking about writing short stories.tin house magazine

4. Started thinking about a post-college job search.

And soon after felt the urge to hide under a blanket and not come out for a few months, at least.  But I don’t want to go into investment banking (crazy-long hours is not conducive to a regular writing schedule), and I don’t even necessarily want to work at a place where I have to wear a pencil skirt most days, so I think I’ve got time.

5. Brainstormed short story ideas.

I intend for my Creative Writing thesis to be a collection of short stories, and I think I’ll be in a workshop again this term (hooray!), so I’m trying to turn my thoughts away from my novel’s characters and plotline and come up with new things.  This is both terrifying and exciting–I’ve known my novel’s characters for so long, and now it’s like, what?  Come up with new people?  Write from a different point of view?  And about things I know even less about?  But it’s freeing as well. I get to write about whatever I want!


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