Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Writer Unchained – Vacation time
I, a full-time writer, just got back from vacation, yes a real vacation; got on a plane, flew across the country, landed in Florida and had a blast.
Why am I telling you, my faithful readers this?
Because while on this wonderful trip, and it was a blow-out in Disney World, I couldn’t help remembering how many times I’ve beaten that old drum, how many times I’ve mentioned, tweeted, blogged about the fact that writers need a break.
It’s extremely easy to fall into a locked in habit of writing every spare minute, pushing hard, working toward that goal, believing it’s the only way to get there. There was a time in my life when I did the same thing, thought the same way. I pushed every spare minute, wrote every time I had time off from what was then a full-time job. Put everything on hold but the writing.
I don’t regret it, BUT, looking back, knowing the things I know now, I wonder (no scratch that, I’m pretty sure) I would have gotten to where I wanted to be a little faster, with a little less stress and a lot more fun if I’d given myself permission to take a real day off, to take a real vacation.
So I’m here to tell you, the voice of experience, back off a bit you’re a writer; there’s more to life than what’s on your computer screen even if most everyone who’s reading your stuff is reading it on Kindle, Smashwords or Nook.
That doesn’t mean you should go into extravagant debt to go on a first-class, over-the-top vacation, but it does mean, within your means, you need to take a break. Hopefully frequent day breaks and when you can manage it, longer ones. This last vacation for me was about eight days. If I hadn’t been able to swing the expense I would have taken the time off writing and working just the same, disconnected from electronics (save a single cell phone I turned on twice a day to check for emergencies, of which there were none) and spent time locally, just walking around, maybe taking in some movies and eating at some not good for you fast food restaurant a couple of times.
What it boils down to is it’s good to shake off the everyday. It’s good to go out and experience what’s going on in the world, to people watch, to relax, unclench and let things go. Every break refreshes the writer and the person in you. Then you can get back to work, feel good and be even more productive!
Yep, I gave up my electronics, but I held on to a small notebook, jotted a few story ideas when all that frivolity sparked my imagination and I’m ready to get back to it.
Take my advice. It’s good for you – no matter who you are, no matter what you do. Find the time, find the way to give yourself a break.