The classic, fully stereotypical school essay is titled “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.” It’s a joke, but have you actually ever written one?
It’s an excellent topic. If you took a vacation, you could write about how you decided where to go and what to do (or how someone else decided for you), what you experienced, and how you ended up feeling during and after this vacation. If you didn’t take a vacation you can write about why you didn’t and what the impact was on you and others around you.
I made one of the biggest decisions of my career on a summer vacation in 1995, the decision that set me on the path I’m on now as a professional writer. It took me another 14 years to fully get there, but the roots go back to a moment standing on the beach and deciding to leave my current corporate job and strike out on my own.
It’s not trite or flippant to take on an old work horse topic like this one. In fact, I believe that it helps to remove some of the barriers and the pressure of that question that horrifies so many writers: “What should I write about?” If you’ve never written such an essay, this is your chance.
For today’s assignment, write a two-page essay, about 500 words, on what you did (or are about to do) on your summer vacation. Be specific and include your thoughts and emotions. I (as a stand in for your elementary school teacher) am not looking for a simple recounting of the places and events. I want to know about how you felt and how you changed (or didn’t change), or hope to change, from this break from daily life.
If you have not taken a vacation this summer, you may write about the most recent vacation that you did take.
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