The Bookish Fox

Writing Lessons from the Hamptons

As you know, I went to the Hamptons last week, and it pretty much changed my life. Everything was in a total state of flow, and I had the most fun writing. How did I maintain this close communion with my muse? After reflecting on my trip, I pulled out five writing lessons for you.

1. Keep your eyes open.

When I was walking on the beach, I was talking to my friend about how I was struggling to find a hero for my novel. Just at that moment, a blue-haired, handsome man ran by. My friend turned to me and said, “That’s what we call a meet cute.” We laughed, and I knew I found my hero.

2. Have a killer (not to be confused with The Killers) playlist.

My main character is obsessed with John Hughes movies, so I made an 80s playlist. It was perfect. Not only did it get me in the mood for my book, but I also had a great time swaying as I wrote. Added bonus: I discovered that the music video for “Always Something There to Remind Me” is pretty ridiculous.

3. Have snacks.

I feel like this is self-explanatory. The muse loves him some chocolate.

4. It’s all about movement.

If I ever got writer’s block, I moved. When I wanted to write a dance scene (a good chunk of the book takes place in a club), I put on my 80s tunes and danced. And I got the best ideas. If I didn’t know how the heroine met the hero, I would pace for a few minutes, and the answer came to me. Moving your body gets you away from the computer and out of your head, so you can do your best thinking.

5. Inspiration happens when you are relaxed.

 When I shut up my inner editor (which, as an editor, is really hard), I was able to write. When I stopped caring about using the perfect word, the right word would inevitably come to me. Writing is can be easy and fun if you relax. Remember, it is not a life or death thing.

How about you? Have you learned anything from any trips? Let me know in the comments. 


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