I just returned from my summer vacation and am still trying to re-integrate into normal life so I don’t have any profound insights for today’s blog post. (My last seven posts were pre-scheduled before I left town. I love modern technology.)
But I do have a couple of observations from my time away, and here they are:
1. People are still reading. Everywhere! And they’re reading… books! Paperback books mostly. In the airports, on planes, and during an entire week of observing people on the beach and by the pool (covertly trying to read their book titles) I saw people relaxing with reading material and it was overwhelmingly fiction. The whole week I only saw one Kindle by the pool, and a couple people reading books on their iPhones on the plane. It’s certainly not scientific research but I can’t help but be heartened and reassured by seeing so many people continuing to enjoy books. So writers, keep writing!
2. Be aware of the moment. I managed to read three great books on my trip, mostly in the early mornings and late at night when the rest of the family was sleeping. But I also realized the importance of having plenty of no-book time in which I stayed fully present and in the moment. Often reading takes you away to a different place and I didn’t want too much of that, even when sitting by the pool. I think writers may be tempted to always be either reading or writing, but maybe scheduling plenty of time where you’re doing neither will be more beneficial for your writing in the long run. You can’t write truth unless you’re fully experiencing life, so don’t be afraid of putting down the book and engaging with the world around you.
3. Get out of your country, if possible.
I’ve traveled abroad to several countries, but we’ve never taken our kids out of the U.S., reasoning that there’s so much to do and see right here. After this trip to Mexico, I’ll never think that way again! Exposing my kids to a different culture is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I found it personally enriching as well. There is something invigorating and enlightening about being outside your comfort zone, your own environment, your own language. I can’t wait to plan another trip and will start saving my pennies immediately!
I know summer’s just beginning, so you may not have taken a vacation yet. But if you want to share some version of “What I Learned on My Summer Vacation,” now’s your chance!
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© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent