So, for those of you that don’t know—and that is probably a good deal of you—I have been on vacation in St. Augustine for the last few days. Not for the beaches, since I am definitely an anti-beach person (grew up in Florida with skin problems, so they just lack some of the appeal). Nope, it’s because St. Augustine happens to have the closest thing I could afford to an honest-to-goodness castle: The Castillo de San Marcos. What better place to take my Write-Cation? So I packed myself, my computer and a friend to act as bodyguard/slavedriver (because I am easily distracted) into my parent’s minivan and we headed off to St. Augustine for a few days research, refresh and writing. And this brings me to my main point:

It’s important to get away from it all every once and a while.

I’ll admit it. I have been a very bad little writer for the last month. I’ve been working my “real” job to death and trying to get my room cleaned and painted. That takes a lot, so I kind of put the blog and the book to the side. It’s alright to do that, by the way. As much as I want to write every single day, it’s not always possible. Sometimes, other things need to take priority. My parents needed my help getting the house ready to sell, so I gave it. And time got away from me. Rather than beat myself up and make myself feel guilty I made myself a deal. I would go on vacation and then I would go back to working seriously on my writing.

And that was the real point of the St. Augustine trip. Did I get a ton of research done? Eh, no not really. Mostly because St. Augustine is the wrong time period for me to use in my book, so I wasn’t planning to do much in the way to research (I unfortunately do not have the funds to go to a real castle over in Europe). I went more for the inspiration of touching it’s walls and to be able to say that I’ve been to real castle. My imagination can take it from there. Did I get a ton of writing done? Um, no. I only wrote about 1200 words altogether between the two nights that I sat down to work. Did I have a fun time? Absolutely. And that’s the important part. I got a chance to recharge after two packed semesters of school and a summer of working full time. I spent three days running around a city that I’d never been to, learning the differences between Spanish and British architecture (kudos if you can tell me what they are) and not worrying about anything greater than making sure I was on the last trolley back. And I got to spend time with two friends that I love dearly (one of whom I don’t see often enough and the other I of whom will be shortly be living across the Atlantic).

I am refreshed. I am recharged. And I am ready to kick this book’s butt. I am going to spend tomorrow relaxing and reading and possibly doing a little housework to placate my mother. And I’m going to go down to the library to pick up the books they have on hold for me (excited!). If I feel like writing, I will. If David and Annette are not feeling particularly talkative, I won’t. On Sunday, I will sit down with my schedule and figure out my major chunks of writing time, I will figure out what I plan to blog about, I will maybe read some email and I will definitely plan out when I’m getting my chores done (writing tends to be easier when your parents don’t have to nag). And then we will take it from there.

I guess what I’m saying is this: don’t be afraid to tell your story or your characters “Chill, let’s take some time and relax. Forget about the story for a minute.” (I’m lucky enough to be operating on my own deadline; this should be exercised with extreme caution when someone else is setting your deadlines.) Your book is important…oh boy, is the book important. But I think sometimes we forget that we are important too. And we need time to regroup. If you’re dead and tired, chances are your writing will be too. Now, you don’t have to go to the extremes that I did and go on a five day roadtrip. That’s just something I like to do every summer for the fun of it (hehe, last year I went to Hawaii—I guess this trip is tame compared to that). But maybe you decide to spend one of your days off lounging in bed with a good book. Or maybe you grab a friend and hit the mall (or bookstore). The possibilities are as endless as the personalities out there.

And that said, I suppose it’s time to fold the laundry that I was too lazy to fold before I left on Monday.

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