I’m just getting back from a lovely vacation with my family to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. Ah, Charleston, where ocean breezes blow (really hot ones), palmetto trees sway, and history is in and around every corner. Since I’m thinking about taking children’s author, Kristen Fulton’s nonfiction writing course, Charleston piqued my author interest at just about every turn. I was also doing some research for another project I’m working on, so I guess you could call this kind of a working vacation. But don’t get me wrong, I did more relaxing, enjoying my kids and my husband, eating and exploring than I did working. So now that I’m back at my desk, how do I take all the things I learned as I was letting my muse rest by the pool with me and turn random thoughts into something productive? I mean, vacations are amazing, but Monday always comes. It’s time to hitch up my big-girl overalls, tighten my saddle and get back to work.
So here are a few suggestions for getting back in the writing saddle and turning all that R&R into something productive:
- Ease back into your writing schedule. I tend to let the work take over, and before I know it, I’m just as tired after two days back at my desk as I was before I took time off. Take baby steps after a vacation and give yourself at least two days to ramp up to full speed unless you have a looming deadline.
- Organize your vacation thoughts. Many writers carry notebooks with them wherever they go. I do not do this. My brain stores lots of information and so far, my memory hasn’t failed me (for the most part). If you are a notebook carrier, then this will be easy for you. If you’re like me, you’ll need to sit quietly at your desk for a few minutes each day as you get back to work and write down thoughts, experiences and places as you recall them. I do this right from my keyboard and into a computer folder.
- Give yourself a break. If you’re having trouble getting back into a writing rhythm, stop beating yourself up. It could be that your muse needs a few extra days to rest. While you’re waiting, find other productive, writing-related tasks that need attending to. Read a new book on plot or characterization. Organize your desk. Answer your backlog of emails. Send out some queries or submit a few manuscripts. Take the opportunity to do some of the things you’ve been putting off while your creativity revs back up to before-vacation mode.
Whether you’re just getting back from vacation or looking forward to a few days off, enjoy the moment, knowing that time away is sometimes just the boost you need to get back in the writing saddle.
Sensibility- Vacations are gifts. Use yours to heighten your senses and enjoy the life that is happening all around you.
Sense- Rushing creativity when you get back from a much-needed break can increase writing anxiety and derail the writing process.
How do you “get back in the saddle” after a vacation?