Writers know that all-too-familiar feeling. Staring at a blank word document, desperately waiting for inspiration to strike. The dreaded writer’s block.
Oftentimes, we’re simply unsure where to start. As summer begins, though, the sunny season provides endless creative writing opportunities. From nostalgia to the natural world, summer is a dynamic time to write poems.
Here are some summer-themed prompts to inspire your poetry:
Explore nostalgic summer memories by establishing a rich sense of place.
Summer is characterized by nostalgia. Take advantage of the season by digging into a specific personal memory. Be sure to paint the scene through rich imagery, focusing on all five senses. The smells of a beach, salt water wafting through the air, the grounding sensation of sand between your toes. The refreshing cold air of an ice cream shop you biked to with your friends every season, the feeling of wind blowing through your hair on the ride there.
What do you miss about these uniquely joyful times? How do they compare and contrast with present-day experiences? What deeper messages about place and time can you explore? Whether your memories are joyful or melancholy, interpreting them through a poetic lens can provide you with a new perspective.
Write a poem inspired by National Great Outdoors Month.
June is National Great Outdoors Month, which provides countless avenues for writing nature poetry. Are hiking trails or botanical gardens accessible where you live? Consider visiting these locations for inspiration. Observe the environment around you. Take notes on local flora and fauna to research what they symbolize, and consider incorporating them into your work.
Ask yourself: how can you connect the change in season to your life? What kind of metaphors can you include in your poetry based on the environment around you?
If you enjoy posting your poems on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #nationalgreatoutdoorsmonth so readers can find your pieces. Also, if you include details about a specific location, tag the location’s Instagram account. They might share your work!
Use your creativity to communicate climate change from different perspectives.
Although we generally associate summer with optimistic themes, seasonal record-high heats, wildfires, and floods remind us of the not-so-bright side of summer.
Have you witnessed environmental degradation where you live? How have the devastating effects of climate change impacted you and your community? Do you experience eco-anxiety? Ground your work in the societal, human, and emotional implications of climate change. Include a call-to-action in your piece, inspiring your readers to make a difference.
Conversely, imagine a summer in which environmental destruction no longer exists. Are you relieved by the milder summers? Do you feel safer? Think about what wildlife may experience—writing from an animal’s perspective can help you and your readers develop a deeper connection and sense of empathy with nature.
Hopefully, these prompts have encouraged you to express your creativity. Spend some time under the sun and let the words flow. Happy writing!
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