However . . .
For the two weeks before I go, I run around like a crazy woman putting affairs in order. I have to blog ahead of time, write editorials, finalize markets for the newsletters, and prepare the website. I pay the bills ahead (remember, no easy online access at the beach). I clean out the chicken coops, leave enough food and water, and arrange for the eggs to be collected. I put the garden on an automatic timer (I'm putting seeds in a nursery bed this week to be prepared for April). Then there's stopping the mail, checking what's left in the refrigerator, and planning what food to prepare and take with us.
I get exhausted trying to relax!
But I make myself do it. Once I'm at the beach, all stress falls away. I'm forced to slow down, think, scheme, and write. And oh how much I accomplish!
In the past, I've actually grabbed one of my adult children and assigned him the job of taking care of the home place. All I did was pack up my writing paraphanalia and take off - no stockpile of food other than the necessary popcorn, a couple dozen eggs (hey, they're free), bourbon and tea bags. I packed one small bag and wore the same shorts, pants and t-shirts. I drafted six chapters, edited several others, and felt so satisfied by week's end.
I feel it's necessary for a writer to get away. Plan a month ahead or take a spur-of-the-moment dash, but escape to Nirvana. And do it for more than one day. Yes, pass the kids off to someone else. Yes, use your vacation time for just you and not for Disney World. Yes, carry a writing partner, if you like. I take my spouse who's quiet as a mouse unless I need him. He lights up a cigar and pours a bourbon when it's time for me to read the latest chapter - more for me to hear my own mistakes than for his feedback, but it works.
Get away, people. For more than one day, too. It takes a few days into a week for you to completely shed the burdens and awaken each morning to just your writing. Avoid electronics as much as possible. The point is not to fall back into your regular routine.
- Swap houses with someone.
- Rent a cabin in the mountains or a beach house - just make it serene.
- Check out your National or State Park system for cheap or free get-aways. They have specials as well as yearly memberships.
One week once a year. I suggest twice a year, if possible. This rejuvenating, self-enrichment period of time will draw serious creativity to the surface. I promise. And planning for it like a wild person for one or two weeks beforehand will be SO worth it.