|My sister-in-law with kids in downtown Sapporo.|
My brother and sister-in-law teach at Hokkaido International School in Sapporo, Japan. That means my niece and nephew live a whole ocean away, too.
I'd been muddling through my WIP, futzing with this and that detail as I doubted the whole darn thing. So I took a break. With a trip to Japan only weeks away, I set aside my writing and gave myself a crash course in Japanese history and literature. I wanted to understand what I'd be seeing on our trip.
Did I feel guilty about not writing? Yes. Did I stop thinking of myself as a writer? Yes. Did I plan to use this as research and write something about Japan? No.
I just took a big long break.
We had a fantastic vacation in Japan. I loved being able to spend three weeks with my niece and nephew while watching my own daughters reconnect with their cousins and joke around with their aunt & uncle. None of us had our electronic devices--all that media that distracts us from each other during our regular lives. We saw amazing sites, made incredible memories, got to know local Japanese people, and bonded as a family.
I wrote in my journal every night, barely keeping my eyes open as I scribbled a hasty account of the day's sights and experiences. Travel doesn't do much to enhance my prose. I suppose I honed my observation skills as I bungled my way through such a foreign culture. Maybe...?
Sometimes it's okay just to have a good time.
|Our whole motley group in Tokyo. I'm wearing a hat--just like my brother!|
I opened my WIP last week. And it's not nearly as bad as I feared--before I took a nice long break.