Thursday, August 14, 2014

Writing on holiday is...easy?

Writing while on holiday should be easy.

It’s not.

First, you’re on holiday. Obligation and duty fly away with the breezes over the water. Out with the tide. (In with the tide, too, but that means guilt, and you’re having none of that because, of course, you’re on holiday from guilt, too.)

Second, there are too many distractions. You know, distractions – like over-indulging in food, drink and cringe-worthy, lightweight summer reading. Or sitting by the water and doing abso-bloody-lutely nothing. Watching waves, falling under their spell (that rhythmic lapping is powerfully soporific). To Do Lists evaporate. Whole afternoons disappear. Actually, whole days disappear. This is a good thing. Too busy. (See above.)

Too much reading. Self-indulgent, escapist reading is so much easier on holiday. “I’m on holiday,” you say. “I’m allowed to read whatever crappy bestseller or over-rated classic I want.” Or award-winning bestseller. Whatever. When you’re reading you’re not writing. You’re doing research.

Also, this is sacred Holiday Time. No, not: “It’s time for a holiday from the demands of daily life.” Rather, Holiday Time describes a shift in the space-time continuum. Time actually slows, and your thought processes with it. Slow thinking isn’t great for productive creative writing. It’s okay, though. Just go with it.


And another thing – on holiday, your senses seem to wake up and take over. The scents of salt water or lake or pool, and wild flowers, and fresh fish on the BBQ, and sunscreen. The many sounds of water and wildlife (yes, even mosquitoes) and lawnmowers. The air, which you now have time to notice. Tastes (see BBQ reference above – add wine, desserts, food prepared with care or seized on a drive-by whim…) So much sensual overload. You’re too busy living it to write about it.

All of the above. That’s why I’m not doing much writing during my holiday.

Oh, wait…!

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