Vacation and the Writer’s Brain

Friday, my family and I headed to Millington, TN to stay in Meeman-Shelby State Park.  When we arrived that evening, we were surprised to see that there weren’t many other people around us.  And when I say not many, I mean there was one occupied cabin beside ours, and I never saw that person.  There were also these strange red balloons in our cabin that has sparked a horror story that will hopefully be done by Halloween.  Anyway, I digress.

The drive to the state park was somewhere between two and three hours long.  I couldn’t decide what to do with my free time.  I broke out my novel soundtrack.  (I’ll share that at a later date.)  Then I decided that I didn’t really want to listen to it since my family was talking, and I didn’t want to look like an outcast.  So, I broke out my notebook, stared at it for a moment wanting to write something on my novel.  But, since I hate hand-writing my novels and short stories, I set it aside and mulled over it.  (And the only reason I hate hand-writing my work is because I feel as if I’m a better writer while typing.  I’m an odd bird.  I know.)

That night, I didn’t get anything written because we had groceries to buy and everything to get situated.

The view from the boat dock on the lake

The next day, I carried around a notebook with me when we went to the boat dock.  I suffer from vertigo, so being in a boat makes me sick (as well as being on a pier).  I didn’t go on the boat ride but went back to the cabin with my nephew and mom.  While Eli took a nap, I wrote.

The next day, we went to the zoo, and when I got back to the cabin, I went to bed (at 7:30) because of the vertigo medicine I had to take after a bad vertigo attack and slept until eight the next morning.  I think I woke up briefly to brush my teeth and change into some pajamas before going back to bed.

So, the next day, we did about the same thing we did before the zoo.  My nieces and nephew, my sister, brother in law and dad went on a boat ride.  I avoided the water by working on short story (the aforementioned horror story) and stopped because it was freaking me out.  😉  Isn’t it sad when your own imagination freaks you out?

Anyway, after getting home, I wrote.  I missed the characters of my WIP.  (Sad.  I know.)

My beautiful nieces and handsome nephew... and well, yes, I'm there too.

Okay, that was a long introduction to say this.  My mind was extremely active.  I wanted to write write write.  Eventually, I learned that I didn’t have to write during vacation.  It was in fact a break from the real world, but I found it extremely difficult.  I was constantly keeping up with my social media sites when I actually had cell phone service, but unfortunately, my laptop’s battery died and there wasn’t the right plug-in to charge it.  (That was probably the biggest reason I didn’t write more than I did.)

I would also lie down at night mentally going over all of the things that I had to do when I got home from vacation.  Why doesn’t my mind relax?  Maybe it’s because I am a writer.  Seriously, our brains never take a break, do they?  We’re constantly thinking of our WIPs or new ideas we’d like to turn into something.  Or we’re outlining for NaNoWriMo, ROW80 (even though I’m skipping this round), thinking about our word count/page goals.  Then, we have to worry with keeping up our social media sites and building our author platform.  Right now, I’m working with Melissa Foster and 34 other authors as we build a launch party for the release of Melissa’s third novel, Come Back to Me.  I’m behind on what’s going on there, so I was constantly receiving emails and facebook notifications about that.

So, can a writer actually take a vacation?  I’m not sure.  I’m still working on that, and we do need them.  We don’t want to get burned out so much that our writing begins to suffer from it.  Although, the vacation I had only made me want to write more, so I think it actually helped me some.  I was still worrying about keeping up with everything else that I wasn’t able to because of no cell phone service or internet.

Don’t get me wrong.  Vacation was wonderful.  The view from the cabin was amazing, even if we were almost eaten alive by giant mosquitoes.

Do you have a hard time relaxing even though you know you should, or are you one of the lucky ones who can take a break when you need it?


4 thoughts on “Vacation and the Writer’s Brain

  1. That photo! It makes me want to go to there!

    I have a hard time relaxing sometimes too. When I’m in the midst of writing a draft, I actually get a bit of separation anxiety when I have to leave the house and leave my story. 😉


    1. It was beautiful. My mom did a great job taking that picture. (I stole it from her. I didn’t take pictures because she and my sister had that covered.)

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. I felt silly for getting separation anxiety from my draft, but I really love my characters and story. 😉


  2. Your nieces and nephew are so cute! 😀

    I have a similar problem, but kinda opposite? When all I want to do is writewritewrite I have no time. Then, when I have time, I feel relaxed, mind ready to write my heart… I zone out and my brain takes a little mental vacation. Haha!

    Stress usually drives me to write; if I feel too overwhelmed I turn to my writing and let the ovewhelm-ness pour onto the page. Apparently, I can get so wound up from my family and/or boyfriend will look at me and say, “Oh my God woman, go write until you wear yourself out!” (I tend to pace when I get stressed/thinking, haha!)


    1. “Oh my God woman, go write until you wear yourself out!” I love that!

      At times when I’ve just got to writewritewrite, I don’t have the time or my family keeps interrupting me. It never fails that whenever I break out the laptop my nieces are crawling in my lap begging me to do something. And of course I give in to their every whim and desire.

      Oh, and thank you! I find them unbelievably cute too, but I’m a little biased!


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