writing life

Back from Staycation

I’m “back” from my staycation — sort of. The original plan was to take a whole week off, so I guess I’d have been back today anyway, but I started working again on Monday. The weather didn’t really cooperate with my plans. I’d hoped to take some long walks, but we had a massive wind storm, with a couple of days with gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour. Walking would not have been fun. Then it got too hot for a long walk (especially in the sun), and then it got cold and rainy. If you’re not doing anything, then a “staycation” starts to feel like being lazy at home, and do that for too long and you just get into bad habits. I spent a couple of days obsessing over a puzzle, and then I got bored. I actually wanted to get back to work.

So, I’m transitioning into what I’m thinking of as a creative retreat with a flexible schedule. Before I start a new project, I like to immerse myself in things that inspire me for that project. I read and watch things for research, like documentaries relating to the setting or some element of the story, plus I look for things to watch that remind me in some way of the story. It may be a movie set in the setting of the story, or something that stars someone I’ve mentally cast as one of my characters, or just something that has an element in it that I want to put in my story. I may listen to music to come up with a “soundtrack” for the story. It’s all about giving my brain input to create the movie that plays in my head that I then transcribe into a novel.

So, I’ll be doing that, along with the usual admin stuff I need to be doing for work. But if it happens to be a perfect day to pack a picnic lunch and go for a long walk in the woods, I’ll do that. If it’s a perfect day to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book, I’ll do that (as I’m planning to do today since it’s cold and rainy).

It’s not a full-on writing schedule, but I am doing things that relate to work that move me closer to being able to start writing, but also with enough flexibility for me to take some time off and revive myself, so it functions like a vacation.


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