My vacation is over, but the words remain! It was less than three weeks total and I managed to read five novels (I’m a slow reader that’s huge for me). I spent one week dancing and another eating more chocolate, drinking more Belgian beer, seeing more fabulous art and consuming more apple cake (AKA Dutch apple pie) than in the previous three years!
I also wrote.
I wrote blog posts and sketched out/began four short stories. Plus, when I found out that one of my new Tango friends was a Mt. Everest/Mt. Kilimanjaro guide, I “interviewed” her and then wrote a relatively long short story about a climb with her expert insights as background!
Travel is good for my writing. It’s distracting. It’s inspiring. And it provides a natural—and often much needed—break from ongoing projects. At the beginning of my trip I spent a little time with my current novel-in-progress, but then I left the folder with the 50+ pages alone.
Now that I’m back home, I’m happy that I didn’t focus on it during the trip. The distance that time away gave me is critical. Yes, critical! The break has enabled me to critique my own work. In his spectacular book ON WRITING, Stephen King talks about putting aside a manuscript for six months. My version is periodic respites. But I seem to need to go-away to really go-away from my own fiction.
Writers: are distance and time good for you, too?