Friday, June 1, 2012

Ten Reasons Why Writers Need Vacations

Slowly I turned!

My husband's job has been overwhelming. So when he realized he had a true three-day weekend with no projects, he said, "Let's get out of town."
We took a wonderful trip to New York and saw Watkins Glen, Palmyra, and ...Niagara Falls! Niagara Falls has been top on my "must see" list for some time.
Now I'm back to work and I thought I'd share the top ten reasons (in no order) I needed a vacation. (I think most of them apply to writers in general.)

1. I needed to be humbled and reminded that there are experiences for which there are no words. Standing ten feet away from the bottom of Niagara Falls would count here.
2. I needed to spend time reading without feeling guilty about not writing.
3. I needed to learn more stuff. I learned a lot about hydroelectric power, geology and history. I even learned the origin of that silly Three Stooges skit "Slowly I turned."
4. I needed to reconnect with nature. A writer spends an awful lot of time inside.
5. I needed to meet more people. Even brief encounters add to my knowledge of human nature.
6. I needed adversity. No vacation is without trials. Even minor adversity adds to a writer's bank of emotional experiences.
7. I needed more visual memories.
8. I needed to experience child-like curiosity and wonder and surprise.
9. I needed a break from daily chores. Not worrying about housekeeping duties I neglect when I write was refreshing and revitalizing.
10. I needed to spend more time with my brilliant husband. It was enriching to talk with him and to see how he brought a different outlook to the new experiences we were having.
Michael with a hero, the great Tesla

Behind a waterfall in Watkins Glen
All photographs copyrighted by Michael Denney. Please ask for permission to reproduce any of them.

Watkins Glen


  1. I agree, I often end up holed in my room typing without spending time around people or seeing new things. When I do get out and learn new things my plotting center starts to zoom through new ideas. Plus, sometimes you just have to have a break from real life so you're more ready to jump in again.

  2. Have to admit I'm a wee bit envious. After I vacation with my family, I usually need a week of downtime to recuperate! Must be all the kids . . . :-)

  3. I need a vacation to get away from the ringing phone... oh, wait a minute... now the phone goes with me! okay, then writers need vacations to practice ten different ways to describe things they see: "The waterfall thundered down the mountain," "a crush of water swirled our boat to the tipping point," "the tumbling water playfully stirred the currents, giving us a ride better than any merry-go-round..."

  4. Thanks for all these great ideas. I agree that family vacations are a wipe-out. But I think we all need fresh experiences.

  5. Great list. Off the top of my head I can't add anything to it, but it certainly has increased my resolve to get out of my cave more!