Ernest Hemingway: Writing In the Summer Heat

Ernest Hemingway, one of the 20th century's literary giants, had a profound connection with writing in the summer heat. His distinct style, characterized by economy and understatement, often flourished in the heat of the season.

For Hemingway, summer was not just a time of relaxation, but a period of intense creativity and productivity. Let's dive into how he embraced writing in the summer and what we can learn from his methods...

Photograph of Ernest Hemingway sitting at a table writing while at his campsite in Kenya, 1953.

The Routine

Hemingway was known for his disciplined approach to writing. Even during the summer, he maintained a strict routine. Rising early, often before sunrise, he would begin writing at dawn. The quiet, cool hours of the early morning—allowing him to work with minimal distractions. By the time it got too hot, he already accomplished several hours of solid writing.

This routine highlights an essential lesson for writers: consistency and discipline are invaluable. Hemingway's early morning sessions enabled him to harness his freshest thoughts and energy, setting a productive tone for the rest of the day.

Ernest Hemingway aboard his boat "Pilar" , 1934.

The Influence of Your Surroundings

Many of Hemingway's works are imbued with the essence of summer. Whether it's the bustling bullfighting festivals of Spain in "The Sun Also Rises" or the tranquil, reflective fishing scenes in "The Old Man and the Sea," Hemingway's writing vividly captures the spirit of the season.

He often found inspiration in his surroundings. Hemingway spent many summers at his home in Key West, Florida, and later in Cuba. Both places had rich, warm climates that seeped into his prose. The vibrant, sun-soaked settings provided a backdrop for some of his most memorable scenes and characters.

Hemingway believed in the power of direct experience. The intense summer heat, the smell of the ocean, the sounds of a bustling market—these sensory details fueled his creativity. He was a keen observer; his ability to translate his experiences into concise, impactful prose is a testament to his skill.

For modern writers, embracing your environment as Hemingway did, can be a powerful tool. Whether it's the sweltering heat of summer or the crisp frigidness of a winter morning, your surroundings can significantly influence your writing style.

Summer Breakthroughs

Summer also represented a time of breakthroughs for Hemingway. The relaxed pace of the season allowed him to experiment with different styles and narratives. This exploration often led to significant developments in his writing technique and storytelling approach.

As writers, we can take a cue from Hemingway's willingness to push boundaries and try new things during the summer months—when many other people are taking a break. It’s a time to break free from our usual routines, explore new genres, and take creative risks!

Ernest and Mary Hemingway on safari in Kenya, Africa, 1953-1954.


Ernest Hemingway’s writing habits offer valuable lessons for writers today, from maintaining a disciplined routine to drawing inspiration from our surroundings.

As we enjoy the warmth and freedom of summer, let's channel our inner Hemingway and embrace the season’s potential for creativity and growth. How will you make the most of your writing this summer?



Reward yourself for your hard summer’s work with the No. 504 Squire Pen.


Want to walk the path of the legend? Explore the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.

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