By R.J. Harlick
It's summertime and everyone's downing tools and heading for the hammock (if only). Do you take regular vacations from writing and if so do you enjoy them?
Summertime and the living is easy….Boy, is it. Finally I can shed winter clothes, feel the hot sun on my skin, go for long walks in the woods with my dogs, take the occasional plunge into the refreshingly cool water of the lake, paddle a mirror calm lake and most importantly move out to the screened-in porch, my summer office. Yup, you read correctly, my summer office, one of my favourite spots to write, where I capture my muse, so to speak.
It doesn’t sound like I am taking a summer vacation does it? In fact at the moment I am on a big push to finish the first draft of the next Meg Harris mystery. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t take vacations from my writing. They just aren’t calendar driven. More like writing driven.
I take mini-vacations during the writing of a book, during the first draft and between drafts. It gives me a chance to step back, recharge my creative juices and see the story for the words. Often they are actual vacations on trips with my husband. Rarely do I take my writing with me when I go on a trip.
The longest time I take away from writing is after I deliver my completed manuscript to my publisher. This is what I call my real down time, when I no longer have this latest book lurking over my shoulder and I haven’t yet started on the next Meg Harris mystery. Mind you that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about this next book and tossing around potential storylines. Sometimes I step back and enjoy a non-writing life for a month or two, sometimes longer. But invariably I start back into it, because writing is what I do, what I enjoy and besides I miss Meg.