Do Authors Ever Go On Vacation?
Short answer is…no. At least I don’t. Getting away from my desk is a relief and something I look forward to, but my laptop is never left behind. What if the urge hits me to knock out a few thousand words? I can’t pass up that opportunity.
Although many authors recommend having a set schedule when they write, there is something refreshing about giving yourself a vacation from that “must perform” timeframe. I seem to get more accomplished when I am not writing under the pressure of a deadline. It makes me happy to write “ahead,” almost like I’m cheating by not really taking a break when I have allowed myself time to take a break.
The head-games authors play with themselves are maddening. Or is it just me?
If you are feeling the anxiety of writer’s block, a vacation may be called for. Get away for the weekend. Put yourself in a new setting. Use this time to do writing exercises rather than working on a set project. I love the exercise of people watching. Go to a restaurant, park, or coffee shop. Observe the people around you and make up a conversation that your fellow patrons may be having. Are they arguing? Do they seem suspicious? Who knows? This exercise may make its way into your next story.
Use this “vacation” to sit outside and describe all the sounds you hear. Do you hear animals? Insects? Cars rushing past? Come up with as many adjectives as you can for each sound. Save these for later use in your writing.
Use your nose. How does the rain smell? What about the heat? Yes, heat does have a smell if you open your mind to it. What other items can you describe by smell that you usually take for granted?
For ideas on more exercises, check out The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. I enjoyed this book very much and still pull it out from time-to-time when I need motivating. It’s an easy read with fun activities.