I’m going away for a few days with my daughter and her children. We’re going to a place where there’s no wi-fi. (I know. Amazing. They still exist.) I’m cramming this mini-vacation in between several busy weeks and another batch of busy weeks. All I really want to do while I’m gone is laze about and read books and knit.
I tell myself that, anyway.
But I’m taking my computer.
I’m nearing the halfway point of my most recent novel and I was stalled for a few days but now I’m back at it. I don’t want to lose my momentum. I can’t bear the thought of leaving my computer behind, without access to my story files.
And yet, it would be good for me to take a break from it for a bit. Get some perspective. Right?
Still, I don’t ever seem to be able to do that. Unless I go away for a day trip, I always take my computer. And every vacation is a busman’s holiday.
(According to the urban dictionary, a busman’s holiday is when you go on vacation and do pretty much the same thing you did at home. The term comes from the late 1800s and refers to a bus driver taking a bus journey for his vacation.)
Because when you’re a writer, everything relates back to your writing. Everything is fodder for your writing. Your life is your writing.
I go to France every year. And what do I do while I’m there? Lead a writing workshop. And even though I’m in the thick of teaching, I always work on a novel while there, because the place inspires me so.
I’m taking a week’s break in a couple weeks. And where am I going? To a hotel in the middle of nowhere with a group of writers. To write, of course.
I’m spending a few days at the Oregon Coast in June. To do what? Teach a novel-writing workshop.
I can’t think of the last time I went on a vacation that wasn’t writing-related.
And here’s the deal: even if my jaunts aren’t related to writing, they are. Because wherever I go, I see things through the eyes of a writer. I take notes in my journal, listen to how people speak, inhale new smells, listen to unfamiliar sounds (the sirens in Paris come to mind).
Writers never turn off their writing brains. I see a unique character and file away the description for the future. I visit a new place and immediately ponder how I could use it in a story. I encounter an odd situation and make a note of it.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.