Friday, March 25

Goin' on Vacation

By the time you read this blog, I will be making fast tracks to a Florida Spring Break with my family. We’re going on a cruise, and I’m nervous/excited as all get-out. I’ve never been on a cruise before. I have to admit I’m a little terrified by the many news stories about people falling overboard and never being seen again. But won’t let that keep me from this adventure… it would be like never leaving my house because of the many news stories about car accidents.

My conflicted feelings about my impending vacation isn’t the point of this blog. And neither is it to nanny-nanny-boo-boo anyone and brag about my cool vacation plans. Well, okay, I admit I might be doing a little of that to my co-workers… but not to any of you! J

I’m writing this because my very awesome vacation plans are also a vacation from my writing. And that’s okay. Writers tend to eat, sleep, and breathe writing. And when we aren’t—when something else gets in the way of our writing, like day job or family—it does a bit of a mind trip on us. We resent those things which pull us away from our writing. We worry that we’ll never get the creative muse back if we put it on hold for a few days. We struggle with our own personal identity, because if we were truly writers down to our soul then we wouldn’t be able to walk away from our writing, would we?

Yes, Nan, I’m talking to you here. But I’m also talking to myself. And the many other writers who grapple to balance our often-self-imposed pressure to perform with the demands of real life. Granted, when I’m doing mundane chores like dishes, I wish I could be writing. I’ll even admit I sometimes wish my kids could be a little less needy when I’m trying to write. And when I’m in the shower or folding laundry or doing something else with my hands that keeps me from writing, I am writing… in my head (which kinda negates my claim to being a total pantser), and hoping I can remember it once I’m at my computer.

It is frustrating, the many things which get in the way of my writing. And yes, vacation can be counted among those things.

But I’m not going to beat myself up about taking a vacation. Or a night off to spend with family. Or a week to promote my book instead of working on my next one. Re-phrase that… I’m going to try not to beat myself up about all that. For one thing, self-flagellation for taking a vacation defeats the whole reason for taking one in the first place: to get away and recharge. For another, if I’m resenting myself for taking time away from my writing, then I’m not fully immersed in enjoying my vacation. Which means I’ll need another one soon, and I can’t afford that! And lastly, I’ve cut people out of my life for being negative, caustic, soul-sucking influences… why would I ever choose to fill that horrid void with my own self-berating dialogue?

I’m going on vacation. Tra-la-la-la. I’ll even take my computer with me just in case. But if I don’t write a single word, even in my head, that’s okay. I’m still a writer. I’m still going to write when I can. It might take me longer than expected to finish my stories, but the world in my head begging to be put to paper will just have to take turns with the real world. Like one big, happy family. Like one big, happy family on a cruise vacation with not a care in the world except what umbrella drink I want next. So, nanny-nanny-boo-boo to you, my personally-imposed pressure to write. J

3 comments:

  1. I gotta say, I think "when I can" needs to become a mantra for us all. As Nan can attest, I LOVE writing on vacation, because...well, because I do, but there are other times when I give myself weeks off and do nothing more productive at the computer than play Solitaire.

    Have a great, great vacation. And you and Kristi are ticking me off a little, BTW...

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  2. You are so right, Ava and somehow, I knew my name would come up as I started reading this blog. I love the whole idea of "when I can." Yes, Liz is right, that should become the WW mantra. You have a great outlook and baby, you'd best enjoy the heck out of this vacation, not just because you totally deserve it, but also because Liz and I are sitting back in gray and gloomy Indiana wishing like anything it was our turn! ;-) Ours is coming along, though, about the time you and Kristi are dealing with getting kids back into school... ;-)

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  3. Vacation? What's a vacation??? LOL Have a safe and fun voyage!

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