We’re going on a much-needed vacation this week — when you read this I’ll hopefully be having a mai-tai.
My husband suggested we go — and he NEVER does that. Hearing him say this told me how much he and I and the girls needed a break. And, working my magic, doing my graduate work in mileage, hotel and timeshare points, I made it happen pretty much entirely on those credits. With the busy, stressful year we’ve had, we’ve earned it! Right? Right.
So I’m just going to relax, right? Just sit by the pool and the beach, right?
So I’m not bringing my notebook or laptop, right? Not going to do any writing, right?
Because when I finally relax, the ideas start to come. They always have. Some of my most prolific brainstorming or freewriting periods have been on vacation or immediately after. When the body and spirit and mind slow down, the creativity, somehow, surges.
Worry not — it’s all going to be down time. But there’s something about that down time that makes the mind go elsewhere, way elsewhere, into the creative zone that we rarely have time for during our busy lives. Not unlike Julia Cameron’s or Gore Vidal’s advice to write first thing in the morning and last thing at night, to best hear the ‘voices’ in our head. The vacation in a way does the same thing to us — it puts us at rest, with minimal noise and busyness around us. Make sure to listen to what comes in those quiet moments.
And ‘capturing’ ideas is not stressful, or at least it doesn’t have to be. The Voice Memo or Notes function on most smartphones can often capture all we have. Or when we’re back at our home base, we can use the notebook or laptop for getting down the deeper details.
So a long ‘official’ vacation — or even a mini afternoon vacation away from the home or office, walking on the beach or mountain — can do wonders for our creativity.
If things don’t flow right away, don’t worry. Sometimes it takes days or weeks or even months for our subconscious to burrow out from all we’ve piled on top of it.
But when it comes, be ready — mini notebooks, napkins, laptops, scratch paper, journal, anything. Grab it, but relax — there’s a lot more where that came from.
Onward – and Aloha!