Thursday, July 22, 2010

It’s Okay To Take A Break: Went to the Yukon and didn’t write a thing

DSC_3590 I did have a plan: go to the Yukon on a much-anticipated family holiday and spend two weeks drinking it all in and writing about it.

The drinking part? No problem.

The writing? Well, that’s another story, which I will illustrate with an anecdote.

A number of years ago, we went to a family wedding. It was a perfect day, and the reception was in full swing, with dancing, visiting and general good cheer all round. I was enjoying myself, certainly, but I was alone.

Why? Because my dear husband was flitting around like a paparazzo on steroids, capturing every wedding guest’s every move on film. The camera was sizzling as he dashed all over the room snapping hundreds of photos to give to the bride and groom later. A lovely thought, but it meant his only view of the event was through the lens of a camera. 

Finally, one of the bridesmaids grabbed him by the arm, pulled him over to the table where I sat watching with amusement, and hollered: “Dance with your wife!”

Sheepishly, he put down the camera and we joined the action.

I thought of this story as we experienced the Yukon’s many spectacular offerings.

DSC_4164 “I should be writing about this!” I nagged myself when a fox unexpectedly planted itself in front of our car, like Mother Nature’s toll keeper, on the way to Bonanza Creek.

“Describe it!” I muttered, mesmerized by the never-ending chain of blue-grey mountains and green hills lining both sides of the Dempster Highway in Tombstone Territorial Park.

It had been my intention all along to write about my trip, even send a few pieces off for possible publication. But once I got there, it was a completely different story. If I had spent my time finding stories to write about or considering markets that might publish my musings, I would have seen it all through the screen on my computer, not through my own two eyes.DSC_4095

So the notebook and computer got a rest. Let’s face it: I got a rest too. Instead of self-imposed deadlines, I enjoyed a relaxing family vacation and an unforgettable experience in one of Canada’s less-travelled territories.

The lesson learned? Writers are allowed to take a break from writing. When the time is right, I’ll put those memories into print. I stopped nagging myself and – like my husband at the wedding – got up on the dance floor to be part of the action.