The Wonders of a Vacation

We all know that when we try to remember something, whatever it is eludes us for a while until we stop thinking about it entirely and then – bing! We remember, just when we gave up on it entirely. Perhaps the universe likes to mess with us that way.

I know that some writers say to write every day without exception, with the idea that you are always writing and keeping the channel to the ‘muse’ wide open. I’d be lying if I said that I followed that advice.

Sometimes I choose to take a writing vacation – when I have no expectations on writing anything at all. It’s a purposeful method of focusing the mind by not focusing. It works for me anyway, and any time another writer says that they deliberately write every day regardless of what they write, I always congratulate them, just as I would to someone who says they train everyday for a marathon.

What works for some of us, doesn’t always work for the rest of us, so please let’s avoid the Writer’s Guilt. I’ve written myself a permission slip that I don’t need to worry about writing every day. Just when I worry that I haven’t written anything in a while, I sit at the computer and – bing – several chapters fly out from my fingers and usually the plot problem that I had been stuck on also gets worked out magically. Instead of running daily for a ‘novel’ marathon, I’ll run 5k, then take a break, run a 10k, then take a break, and finish strong.

We all need breaks now and then – so go ahead and take one. And fellow writers, please, let’s not try to make anyone feel guilty about not blogging every week or working on their novel every single day. We can give ourselves (and each other) a pass to take a writing vacation and to reset our focus, so we can finish strong and improve the overall result.