As a writing coach, this is what I hear from writers as summer nears:

“I’m leaving for Hawaii next week but I am packing my lap top and I plan on ten pages a day!”

and yet…

Two weeks later at our meeting:

“Yeah, I didn’t open the laptop.  See there was this volcano, and the snorkeling and the sunset cruise….”

You know what I say?  Good for you!

Today, I want to officially give you all permission to take a vacation without writing guilt.

And if you need a bit more convincing, consider this

  1. Staring out the window counts. (Or in this case, staring at the palm trees or the volcano).  You’ve heard me say it before.  Thinking time is writing time.  Your subconscious is processing important information that you are not even aware of.  If you want to put that subconscious to work, just ask yourself a big question about your writing and let the answers percolate.
  2. You will be a stronger, faster leaner writing machine when you get home. Taking a break is self care – and some of the most successful writers I know have a fierce self care regimen.   And anecdotally, the most prolific writers I know often take breaks from the hustle and bustle.
  3. It’s important to have a full life. Life is not all about writing, writing, writing.  It’s also about letting the people you love know that you care, and spending uninterrupted time with them creating memories is often the best way to do that.  Having strong relationships leads to a more balanced life.  And you know what, a more balanced life offers you a longer time in the world to be a writer.
  4. You will be acquiring new experiences to write about.  But you know what – don’t feel the need to selfie the hell out of it or take notes while you snorkel.  Just be there.  Your memory is strong.  It can recall later.
  5. You are worth time off. So there.