Time to recharge the batteries but also to gain inspiration.
It’s holiday time for most of us and like all folk who work for themselves, writers can often find it difficult to switch off.
I am no different. Since giving up the day job to write full time I have found it tricky to set aside designated periods specifically to relax. Of course, I also have two children under ten, so this may account in some part for this, however, I definitely find myself thinking that if I stop writing and reflecting on my next project for too long, perhaps I’ll run out of ideas. In fact, taking a proper break from the keyboard has the opposite effect. Your brain needs time to rest and, most significantly, being in a new location will spark even greater creativity.
Something I like to do on holiday is to seek out those boxes of well thumbed paperbacks that you find in resorts and guesthouses. I make sure I choose a book I wouldn’t usually read back at home. This helps me to broaden my literary horizons and stay in touch with what everyone else is reading. Sometimes we can get too caught up in our own writing!
It was an incident which occurred whilst on a hill walk on the glorious Isle of Arran which inspired me to write my first novel. So I do understand the importance of letting your mind absorb new experiences and places, as it will undoubtedly enrich your future writing. All of us novelists can be a tad obsessive about our work, largely because there is no definitive end point to a project. We always feel there is more we can do. So give yourself a break. Leave the laptop behind and simply kick back and relax for a week or so. I guarantee you’ll be a better writer for it.