Routine is the writer’s best friend. It might not sound glamorous, but it’s true. Think about it. What could be better for the artist then set times to flex their writing muscles? Having an hour or two or more per day to write. How fast would you complete your novel, short story, or poem? Days? Weeks? A mere month or two?
It sounds great I know. I am salivating just thinking about it. Anyway, there are times however, where that can be the very worst thing. What is the writer’s second best friend? I submit that it is vacation, travel, a change of pace whichever provides the opportunity for perspective. As long as this change of pace is not something difficult or traumatic, it can be enlightened, invigorating, and best of all, freeing.
Recently, my wife and I took a trip from our hometown of Grand Rapids MI, through Ontario, Canada, to Brockport, New York to visit family. It is a trip we take often. Nine hours on the road Friday night after work. Nine hours on the on the return trip Sunday or Monday. This might seem awfully short and maybe not worth it to the normal individual but that is where you begin to see that I am not normal. I love freedom travel brings. My guess is that I think clearest at 2 or 3am when everyone else is asleep in the car. I love driving at that time. You might think, perhaps, this is because I am a parent of two young children? But no, I have always loved it.
Traveling gives perspective. It gives opportunities to break the mold, destroy the routine, and perhaps get us out of life and writing’s repetitive doldrums. This perspective is essential and especially effective in small doses.
Are you having trouble getting through a part of your novel? Go for a walk at 2am. Is there something that you are trying to get out that is just not sounding right? Take a drive to a lake or a walk through a nearby park and jump in a river. Whatever you can do to find a “vacation” or a change of pace, do it dear writer. It is spectacularly refreshing.