Do Writers Ever Go On Vacation?

by Julia Phillips Smith

I'm on a self-imposed writing break, a vacation if you will from telling stories.

I need to fill up my creative well before I head into the next manuscripts for two separate series. So I'm immersing myself in other people's creativity, giving my mind permission to wander at will without fulfilling word counts.

Yet, I'm never really switched off. I wonder if other writers can truly take a writing break, or are we all basically 'on', no matter what?

Like actors, writers always have an ear tuned for great snippets of overheard dialogue. We always stop and notice the way the rosy light hits the trees at twilight, or the way it feels to descend a set of basement stairs away from the noon heat and into the cool cellar.

Writers may not realize what we're doing, as we've been doing this since we were babies. Actors learn to pay attention to sensory stimuli in order to call it back to themselves on set or on stage. Actors realize they're taking part in a recognized art theory. Writers, not so much...

For the most part, we're just relieved when we can get together with other writer friends and not have to explain our most recent internal arguments with uncooperative characters.

What about you, fellow writers?

When you're on a writing break, do you stop filing away sights/sounds/sensations/emotions when you're on vacation?

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  1. I feel like i'm on vacation too much sometimes!! :)

    I agree though ... I'm in Alberta for business this week - promised myself no writing - and yet as I went shopping and walked thorugh the hotel I was gathering dialogue ... it never stops!!!


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