I’m on vacation this week which means I won’t be able to comment until I get back (sorry!). And how handy that I’m on vacation because that’s exactly what I wanted to blog about! Sometimes it can be really hard to take time away from writing, and sometimes that’s just exactly what a writer needs to do in order to refill the well and reinvigorate their craft.
Up until about a year and a half ago, when I became a full time writer, all my writing time came at the expense of something else — it’s what I did when I wasn’t working and it got smushed in between things like laundry and mowing the yard. I became very very accustomed to using my free time to write and to a certain extent, I still feel the same way.
Even though I spend most of my days writing during the week, I have a hard time taking the evening or the weekend off, even when I’m not under deadline. And when I think about going on vacation, I think about all the writing I can get done. Several weeks ago I was brainstorming for some new ideas and I thought to myself “last time I needed a new idea my husband told me to write what I love, I should try that again: what do I love that I want to write about?”
And I realized that my life had become somewhat one dimensional. Whereas before, writing was a facet of my life along with being a lawyer and several other things, slowly my life had become about nothing much more than writing (and the business of writing).
Here I’d had all these dreams about all the free time I’d have once I didn’t need to use my evenings for writing and I’d use that new time to pick up hobbies — to take more walks and keep the house better organized. Ha! I began to realize that without more external input to my life — more layers — I was in danger of writing flat characters.
I realized I needed to take some time off and while I was at it, I needed to pick up some hobbies. So I started learning to play an instrument I’ve always wanted to play and I started going on more walks and my husband and I planned a vacation. Now that writing isn’t all I focus on every day, I’m becoming more and more excited about it.
Sometimes in order to write about life, you have to live life.