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Last week, a friend asked how I intended to spend my brief summer break, ahead of great travel for work and for pleasure, too. “Wandering,” I said, with a wistful smile.

This is what I love most about summer: Long stretches of uninterrupted time to stroll around farmer’s markets, local parks, and the garden in my backyard. Time to think. Time to read. Time to write.

A number of teachers that I support began building their own writing notebooks this year, with the intention of using them beside students this fall.

“Where will get ideas for our writing?” they asked.

And the #flaneur challenge was born.┬áIt’s simple: Try to spend a bit of time wandering this summer. You don’t have to go anywhere special. You don’t even have to leave your house. Just take a stroll, without any intention, and pay attention to what you see.

Zoom in on the details of your surroundings. Notice the things that you typically overlook.

Take a photo of something that interests you (or sketch it, if you’d like).

Use this experience and the image you captured to fuel your daily notebook entry. And do try to repeat this process daily.

Can you imagine how many ideas you’ll gather before you return to school this fall?

Tag your photo #flaneur and share it on Instagram to connect with others and scoop up their ideas, too.

Want to learn more? Vicki Davis recently interviewed me about this project for her fabulous podcast, The 10-Minute Teacher. You can listen to our quick chat in episode #99.

Need a bit of direction? I’ll begin posting daily challenges in the Building Better Writers Facebook group today and on Instagram as well.

Hope to see you there.



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