Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Writers Should Plan a Get Away to Help Refill Your Creative Well

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Summer is here, and I have to confess the hot weather and irregular schedule just saps my writing mojo. So what's a writer to do? Find a way to get those creative juices flowing again, of course! 

The best way for me to do that is with a field trip. I think every writer needs to plan a get away to help refill the creatine well. Just an afternoon away can often be just the boost my writing needs. In honor of my own personal hot-weather lethargy, I’m sharing my list of places to explore and things to do.

These are things that you can do by yourself, or get together with another friend to try out. Most would even work as a group activity for a writers group. The key here is to get out and stretch your legs and your creative muscles.

32 Fun Field Trips for Writers
  • 1. Visit your local history museum. Every county and most towns have them. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
  • 2. Take a quick trip to a local landmark. Chances are there are some that you’ve never visited, no matter how long you’ve lived where you are now.
  • 3. Go to your local farmer’s market. Not only will you pick up some wonderful—local—edibles, you’ll be inspired by those attending and those displaying their wares.
  • 4. Try a different cuisine. Pick one you haven’t had before, if possible. Research it before you go and you’ll know what to order.
  • 5. Take a walking tour. Greenville, SC is the large town nearby and there are all kinds of self-guided walking tours we can take.
  • 6. Spend a few hours geocaching. Here’s a great article on Geocaching 101, if you’re not familiar with this hobby.
  • 7. Do a search for hidden menus at Starbucks, then try something new. There are all kinds of cool drinks you can order, if you just know how. For example, did you know there’s a concoction that’s reputed to resemble Butterbeer from the Harry Potter universe?
  • 8. Take a trip on a local river or lake. Go kayaking, canoeing, or even paddle boarding.
  • 9. Get together a group and go on a bookstore crawl. The point is to visit all the bookstores in a geographic area. It’s even more fun if you post pics to social media and see how many books you can find from authors you know and love.
  • 10. Plan an old-fashioned murder mystery evening. You can find suggestions online or you can buy a box that has everything need.
  • 11. Look for endangered wildflowers. Here in South Carolina we have several habitats of endangered flora and fauna. The picture to the right is of the tiny Oconee Bells. Take a drive and be inspired by God’s creativity!
  • 12. Visit a local art gallery. Yes, I’m a writer. But I’ve found that seeing how others express their creativity inspires me.
  • 13. Get tickets to a play at your local community theater or even a school production. You'll be inspired by the actors, the costumes, the story, and the overall atmosphere.
  • 14. Go old school and show some community spirit by watching a local baseball game. We have a minor league team and spring and summer are great times to visit the ball field.
  • 15. Take a cooking class. Again, it’s the creative aspect that drives this suggestion. But you also might find a new hobby you can share with your spouse.
  • 16. Spend the afternoon people watching at the local mall. Take a pen and paper and write down snippets of conversations. If you write fiction, you may find a place to use it in your WIP. If you write nonfiction, the things you overhear may give you article/book ideas.
  • 17. Offer to read at your local retirement center/nursing home. It doesn’t have to be your book that you’re reading.
  • 18. Visit your local zoo.
  • 19. Take another author’s book to your local bookstore and recommend it to the manager/workers. It feels good to do something nice for someone else, and it helps the management find books they might have missed. 
  • 20. Visit some nearby historical landmarks. Greenville is rife with old textile mills, bridges and general historic sites. I love crawling around old foundations and taking picture of the stonework and gears that are always left behind.
  • 21. Memorize a poem. Go to your local library or book store and find a book of poetry. It can be something funny, or touching, or anything in between. But the process will stimulate your mind and stretch your mental muscles.
  • 22. Explore a local festival. This time of year you’ll find everything from state fairs to barbecue cook-offs to pop up arts and crafts shows.
  • 23. Take a bicycle ride. If you don’t own a bike, rent one. Chances are there’s someplace nearby where you can ride.
  • 24. Listen to some live music. It might be an evening at the symphony, or a free band that plays in a park downtown.
  • 25. Stroll through a local flee market or antique mall.
  • 26. Go on a hike. Find a local park and take a walk.
  • 27. Build something. I love to visit my local toy store and discover new Legos kits and other things to build.
  • 28. Spend an afternoon coloring. Find a book or download a free page from the Internet, pull out your colored pencils and pretend you’re a kid. It’s not a hobby for everyone—which could be said about a lot of these suggestions, but I’ve found if I mention coloring it’s polarizing. People either love it or hate it. I’m one of those who’ve discovered it doesn’t relax me. But if it does help you unwind, go for it. If you haven’t tried it, it’s past time to give this new fad a try.
  • 29. Shop for a new pen and stationary. Go to a place where you can try out different types of pens and find one you really like.
  • 30. Take only a pen and notebook and find a park. Spend an hour or two writing longhand. Describe your setting, do free-writing, or brainstorm your next project.
  • 31. Spend the afternoon assembling a puzzle. I got a GREAT puzzle in the shape of a typewriter recently and I can't wait to put it together. 
  • 32. Take a pottery class. There are several local pottery artists who host open studios.

Truthfully, this list could go on and on. But I’ll stop talking now and let you have a chance to share your best ideas. 

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.


  1. joannecheck@nc.rr.comJuly 10, 2024 at 12:10 PM

    Great suggestions. My husband and I like to do most of those things.

    1. Joanne, thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you all know how to plan a great get-away! Blessings, E

  2. Truth. Thanks, Edie.