Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"I'd walk a mile for a camel."

I really like vacation.  I wonder if people who earn their living creatively are able to claim vacation expenses as business expenses on their taxes?  Just to be clear, when I say "earn their living creatively" I don't mean by selling drugs or smuggling exotic animals.

Getting away, and letting yourself be away, to allow your imagination to explore fresh horizons, is a marvelous tool.  You are exposed to a variety of new and interesting stimuli that never would have become part of your experience - that great deep fountain that your writing comes from - without them.  Why, between the rock licking
This is not an endorsement for Camel.
I witnessed and the attempted camel kidnapping that I heard about around surprisingly good camp coffee, my creative core was being stretched before my week off really even started!

Since then, I've encountered a man who surrounds his truck with Cheetos to keep the vampires away and hangs bat houses through the forest preserve for the vampires because they are the only things (as dangerous as they are to his truck) that will keep him safe from the werewolves.  The same forest preserve is home to a porcupine/monkey - the jury is still out - and a swarm of honey bees.  As in swarming, buzzing, terrifyingly huge new hive searching swarm. Discovery channel worthy experience.

Today is only Tuesday, but I've got a wealth of new material - actions, history, emotions, and characters - that I'll be able to draw on for the rest of my life.  The key to successfully managing this Tuesday's special tool, the vacation, is making sure that you actually let go.  If you stay "wired in" to your life, it will drown out the new experiences.  Make sure you also have an exit strategy, and a specific writing project to tackle (nothing too big - say some blog entries?) to make sure you don't lose the habit.  I don’t want you going on a permanent vacation.

As cool as a copy of the "Save The Cat" software might be (and it is on sale), for my money, the vacation is a better investment for an author writing on speculation.

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