It’s hard to get away. With work and writing and family and dogs, it’s difficult to find the time to take some time. But I did it. Last weekend I got away to Lake Tahoe with Justin. Beautiful Tahoe. I felt like a broken record while we were there. I said “This place is so beautiful” about 100 times. It took my breath away every minute of our four-day vacation.
I did something crazy the night before I left: I promised myself that I would not write on my vacation. I felt like I was committing a crime. Some would say, “That’s crazy!” or “Don’t writers get away so they can write more?” or “How could you not write while staying in this cute little bungalow?”
I know, I know. I felt like I was making a mistake when I purposely didn’t pack a journal. But I am grateful that I restricted my hand from putting pen to paper during my trip. I gave myself space to breathe and reset. I wanted to take in the sights, enjoy our activities, and relish in the solitude without any obligations. It was a vacation, for goodness sake! We rode gondolas miles above the lake shore.
We soared above the trees on the longest zip line in the continental U.S.
We kayaked the blue waters of Emerald Bay.
As strange as it is to admit, avoiding writing on my vacation was complete bliss. I allowed myself to soak everything in with sight, sound, smell, and touch (and a bit of taste with great food and delicious drinks). I told myself I’ll write after my memories simmer and marinate for some time. And I’m thanking myself for that now.
I look at it the same way I look at writing and revising my PB manuscripts. After I’ve made a first pass, I save the draft and put it away for a while. It needs time to cook and I need time to recharge before I dive in again. Except this draft was of the sensory sort.
I stored away my memories of the wind picking up just before our zip lines released, of the oar slicing through the clear water, of the debaucherous bachelor party celebrating on Fannette Island, of the taste of almond praline ice cream sundae with hot fudge, and of Justin and me gathering gold flakes for hours only to find out it was fool’s gold.
Now that everything has combined and stewed for a few days, I feel ready to jot down memories and ideas for PBs based on our travels. I’m ready to revisit everything. I’m proud that I paused my pen for a few days, not only to benefit myself later, but also to truly unplug, relax, and enjoy my vacation as much as possible.
But now, it’s writing time. White firs and fool’s gold and black bears, oh my!