Summer Working

Summer Working

Summer break is in full swing, and school is done. What’s not done is the creative work. That never stops. School or no school, there are still stories to develop, scripts to write, films to produce and footage to edit. The difference that arises with getting all of that done during the summer is routine. During the school year, you have a bit of structure: you know where you’ll be and how much free time you’ll have, so you can figure out when and where you will write or edit or have meetings. In the summer, you have the freedom to figure that out on your own terms.

I definitely walked into the summer believing the abundance of free time would be a blessing, and I would be able to work on all the things I didn’t have time for during the semester. I very quickly learnt that I thrive off structure and schedules and found myself not getting a lot done. I needed to figure out how to be more efficient.

The first thing I discovered was that I needed to get out of my apartment. I do all my computer work from the comfort of my bed, so trying to write all day meant that I spent all day in bed. Even though I was doing work, it felt off, and I figured that I needed to get outside my four walls. Even something as simple as going to a coffee shop to write for a couple of hours helped. Taking a walk and being around people got my creative juices flowing.

Summer working at a coffee shop

A benefit of that summer free time is getting to do non-creative stuff you didn’t really have time for during the semester, like reading a novel. Not as inspiration, not to critique, but to simply escape. Going to the park with a good book to get a break from the creative work is super helpful. It’s kind of a mental cleanse.

Summer working at Grant Park

Sometimes, though, you find yourself needing to head back to a familiar work space to get things done. I’m typing this from 1104 South Wabash (Columbia’s Cinema and Television Arts building). I’m not sure why, but there’s something about sitting on a high table on the third floor that just implores me to accomplish things. So, here I am, doing just that.

Summer working at Columbia College Chicago

It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure (mostly from ourselves) to get a lot done over the summer. I think what’s key is doing things at your own pace and in the spaces that are most comfortable for you. Taking advantage of the time is great, but I think utilizing the freedom is what’s truly important.