1. S Barnwell
    Offline

    S Barnwell Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK

    What sorts of holiday are the most inspirational?

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by S Barnwell, Jul 2, 2015.

    I am going on holiday today, which is like;y to be quite active (with quad-biking, parasailing etc). But I got to thinking . . . . . . is this the best kind of holiday for an author?
    Are there better kinds of holiday to give you inspiration and space to write?
     
  2. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,783
    Likes Received:
    7,298
    Location:
    Scotland
    For me, the best kind of writing-related holiday (I've taken two) is one that takes me to a location I'm thinking of using in a novel. That's so amazing. Not only do you get a sense of the place itself, but also you get to walk down the streets of a town or city (if that's the location) and imagine you are the character. This can be helpful even if you're writing a story set in the past, because what will not have changed is the distance from A to B. How far ARE you from the waterfront? Can you smell the sea? What kind of light do you get, morning, afternoon, evening? Are there hills to navigate, or is the terrain perfectly flat. Etc. It's even better if there is a good museum in the town/city, and/or historic houses and buildings to visit. All of these can enrich your setting and give you story ideas.

    Because my writing involves so much research, I find that trying to write away from home doesn't work for me. I want my 'stuff' around me, so if a question arises I can immediately get the reference book out and get my answer. Or look at a particular photo I know I've got, or whatever.

    However, I know writers who LOVE going to writers' retreats, where they are left in peace, usually in a tranquil, beautiful setting, to get on with writing. Some of these involve workshops and social activities with other writers, while some merely give you studio space and three meals a day. That sounds very attractive, but only if I was writing something that didn't require research. I know research is available online, but not all of it. I still rely on books.

    So for me, it's the fact-finding holiday! Every time.
     
  3. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    It depends on the need. The only real "writer's holiday" I ever took was a week I stayed home to try and finish the first draft of my first attempt at a novel. My wife was working and the kids were in school, and when they boarded the school bus, there was an incredible adrenaline rush to knowing that the next six hours or so were going to be mine to focus on the one thing I wanted to do.

    I'm in the same boat as @jannert. If I'm actually going to be writing, home is the best place for me. If it's inspiration, then being on location is the best. When we were first married, my wife and I honeymooned in Williamsburgh, Virginia. Spending five days in a restored colonial town probably did more to jolt me toward writing historical fiction than anything else.

    But for clearing the head, sorting out plot issues or problems with characters - the kind of thing you need to do away from the keyboard - I find there is nothing that comes close to sitting on the deck of a ship or leaning on the rail and staring out over the sea. The vastness of the ocean, for me, opens up the mind to new possibilities while at the same time being incredibly soothing.
     
    jannert likes this.
  4. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    I wonder if new experiences trump any specific holiday type or destination. If you have never quad-biked or parasailed before, then those activities will make the trip good for you as an author, no matter where they take place.
     
  5. jannert
    Offline

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,783
    Likes Received:
    7,298
    Location:
    Scotland
    Believe it or not, this happens to me when I'm riding a bus, providing it's not just a 1o-minute jaunt down the town, OR plagued by folks around me yakking on mobile phones. But I can look out a bus window and all sorts of stuff comes to me. Walking has some of the same effect, if I'm walking a known route, and am not required to stop and talk to people. I've never tried doing my thinking on board ship. Might be an excuse for a cruise? Or a ferry trip in good weather?
     

Share This Page