How Vacation and Change Can Inspire Authors

Thanks to work and the holidays, these last two months have absolutely flown by. I’m trying to keep up with my personal writing goals, which means that I’m trying to actually, ya know, WRITE, rather than pluck out a few words and then play on social media for three hours. I’ve been feeling pretty good about it lately, as HUNTED (Book 3) is almost done and on track for its spring release. IGNITED (Book 4) is well under way, as is a standalone gifted spy novel for the fall.

My husband and I visited my sister in West Palm Beach, FL over Christmas break and I’m happy to say it was a good thing for both of us. We came back refreshed, motivated, and even inspired thanks to a relaxing break filled with boats, rum, and French bulldogs who love to snuggle. I also wrote a few thousand words (an accomplishment on any vacation) due to the inspiration that struck me from our travels.

Being at the airport, even for a couple of hours, sucks. It’s a pain in the ass dealing with boarding, layovers, and getting increasingly hangry as the time passes. Surely an international airport, surrounded with unhygienic strangers and uncontrollable toddlers, is at least one circle of Hell. However.

Oh yes. However. I find that the airport is one of the best places to people-watch. As in, it’s pretty much gold for writers. In fact, I’d say vacation is a necessary thing for writers. I adore my friends and comfort zone and tend to be set in my ways, as many other writers do. It’s been so long since I took a break, a real vacation, to remind me why a change of pace can be good for me. New scenery and exposure to other cultures and people can really get your mind working.

You start to notice how other people talk or dress, for example. How they walk or habits that remind you of your characters. All these little personality quirks enrich our characters that much more. Your imaginary friends need a backstory, sure, but they also need defining traits to establish who they are in the present, during the chunks of your book where they are most important. Part of me is still a journalist, so I’ve never really had much issue with approaching someone with questions. If that’s a little too extreme for you, maybe simply getting out of your comfort zone and being introduced to different surroundings are a better way to go.

If you’re feeling a little writer’s block, I suggest shaking things up a bit. For someone like me who never leaves the house, maybe I don’t need the airport. Maybe I start visiting a coffee shop to write more. I can wear pajamas to my local cafe, right?

I shared this on my Facebook page the other day, but wanted to post it on here for you to see. Here are a few of my 2015 goals, both writing and personal. I encourage you to share yours in the comments. Happy January!

2015 Goals

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