Do Writers Need Vacation?
When I looked at my summer 2010 calendar and realized I had time for a “vacation” alongside the 2 graduations I’m attending on this trip, I felt happy I’d get to see my family, but also a little confused. Did I need a vacation? Did I want one? What is vacation for someone who’s already on the road?
The fact is, the line between work and play is a very thin one in my world. For the most part, I find balance on a day-to-day schedule. This means I don’t accumulate mass amounts of stress that then require mass amounts of vacation time. I do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, and in the end my work, play, and exercise usually balance out quite nicely. (It’s a privilege of discipline, hard work, and not having dependents, of course, but I do believe that this “pro” is balanced by “cons,”—therefore I don’t ultimately advocate for one lifestyle over the other. It’s all about what’s right for a certain individual at a certain time.)
(Tomorrow we head to the Jersey shore)
Right now, vacation confuses me. I can’t get the reading rhythm I’m used to. Writing fiction is off the table, though the editing and freelance work keeping trickling in thanks to wireless Internet access everywhere I go. I am deeply and easily disturbed by: television, aggressive drivers, the number of SUV’s on the road, excessive women’s jewelry, and massive urban waste. Sadly, I’ve seen plenty of this the last 2 weeks (Interlochen included) and If I’m not careful, exposure to these toxins will turn any vacation into a total dead zone for my creative spirit.
The reality is that I’m going to need to make myself more amenable to “the outside world.” That’s part of what my 2 years on the road is all about. Hiding out on a mountain has its perks and it certainly served me well, but if I’m any kind of writer then I can carry what I do with me wherever I go. I can work under any circumstances. I can be socially amenable. I can go with the flow…Ideally, that is. But I’m out of practice. This vacation, I suppose, is about re-training that rarely used muscle.