Taking time off is important, even if you work outside the bounds of a typical 9-5 job. Take writers, for example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of writers and authors (63%) are self-employed or freelance.
Vacations can be as elaborate as spending weeks in a far-off location or as simple as a long weekend close to home. Either way, a change of scenery helps writers recharge their creative batteries and keep their writing fresh. When you’re ready to take a break from your day-to-day responsibilities, this writer’s guide to vacationing will help you find the “write” way to enjoy your time off.
To find inspiration, you have to first be open to new experiences. Do something you would never expect yourself to do. If you visit a far-off vacation spot, take the time to interact with the area residents. You may learn fascinating details about their way of life, culture, and even spots you won’t find on a vacation guide. Notice the architecture, the food, and the landscaping. These things can elicit a depth of inspiration in a traveling writer.
Bring a journal to document the sights, smells, and sounds you experience. Dig in to how these experiences make you feel. Writers often find their best ideas in new surroundings, so make sure you don’t miss out playing games on your phone or checking your email again. Make a conscious effort to soak in your surroundings, and be sure to capture any new ideas that come to you.
Go Where the Magic Happens
When planning your trip, look up famous writers who have lived in or written in that location. Familiarize yourself with their work and go to these spots that they wrote about. This will provide you with a better understanding of that writer’s workflow, specifically the process of translating what your senses perceive into words. Workflow is important for any writer, and everyone’s is different. Learning about successful writers’ processes can help you with your writing and is a great way to find inspiration.
Choose Inspiring Accommodations
Staying at a hotel chain is not exactly the best way to integrate yourself into your vacation spot. Rental sites like Airbnb offer travelers more space than a typical hotel room. You can also peruse the listing photos to see how the room is set up and amenities are available. For example, if you visit New York City, look for a space in a historic neighborhood. This will give you the true experience of an NYC native and will allow you to connect with the literature, film, and music created in the Big Apple. This will also contribute to a greater sense of disconnecting from life back home and immersing yourself in your travel location.
Another option is to choose somewhere secluded. Quiet spaces can allow for clearer thinking and a fully relaxing environment. A cabin in the mountains is a great location for writers. The scenery can be beautiful, especially during the fall when the leaves are changing. Visuals like this can spark your creativity and lead to some amazing work.
Take It Easy
The number one rule of vacationing is to relax and enjoy yourself. Writing is a mentally demanding job and taking some time off to unwind is essential for your mental health and creative flow. Identify the goal of your excursion – do you want to lock your laptop away and soak in the scenery, or will you use your vacation to generate inspiration? Either way, build downtime into your daily routine. Creativity often strikes when we’re relaxed, unoccupied, and have nothing else to worry about. Accept that you may not get as much writing done as you thought—the ultimate goal of a vacation is just to relax and have fun.