If I could take a writing vacation…

If I could take a vacation from all of my required writing, I would work on my novel. I started it about two summers ago (wow, has it been that long already?) but I have not made as much progress as I would have liked. Creative writing has always been a passion of mine since I was young. I loved writing stories for my classes in elementary school, and even won a few poetry contests throughout the years. I constantly find myself thinking of stories; ideas come to me during idle moments unexpectedly in the form of movie trailers. I’ve tried making deals with myself in which I would attempt to write just a little bit every week, even if it’s only a few pages. However, with all my academic work, I can never seem to justify taking the time to “write for fun.” It’s rather unfortunate. The one good thing is that I have lots of time to think about the ideas I do have, and really flesh them out. Once in a while, I am overwhelmed by an idea and need to write it down immediately, even if it’s just a few sentences in the back of my planner or in my notes section on my computer. Sometimes when I’m bored in class or doing things around the house, I will let my mind wonder to the people and places I’ve created for my book. I let my brain live there from time to time to have a well deserved break from reality. This really lets me get in touch with my characters and helps me to develop a concrete understanding of the places that set the stage for my story. So even when I cannot take a “writing vacation,” I give my brain mini “creative vacations” a few times a week.

With spring break around the corner, I like to imagine myself sitting on a beach with a notebook in hand, scribbling away scene after scene until sunset. I always find the ocean to be refreshing and inspiring. Maybe it’s the actor in me, but I like to get into character when I write. The lighting, sounds, and setting have to be just right for me. How often do we see in movies or other books the characterization of a writer with nature as their muse? In addition to the ocean, a quiet cabin in the woods overlooking a lake would work quite well for me. I would sit on the porch with my laptop and a strong cup of coffee, writing the day away. Alas, I will not be going anywhere for spring break, but instead spend the whole time working on midterms and reading assignments for the rest of the semester. I’m hoping that summer will afford me some time to really make progress…even if it’s just a few more chapters…

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  • Celephanil Nemuli says:

    I once knew a harried maiden,
    Buried ‘neath the tomes of wordy men.
    Perhaps one day she will escape,
    To woods and stream-side cities,
    Whose paths a tender age had trod,
    Or scrape the doméd Firmament,
    And leave a fingerprint on God’s Own Vault!
    By then I know, She will perceive,
    That stacks of books a lofty seat can raise!

    Keep up the notes, Ms. Wittenburg. We have all the time in Creation, and the longer the pot stews, the more delectable the sauce.

  • Kristine Witko says:

    So funny–when I space out in class I do the same thing: I start thinking about my stories, the characters, how I want the plot to develop, etc. I think almost all of my school notebooks have notes I’d jot down for myself about where I wanted the story to go. Once in a while I’ll leave class with a new idea for a storyline but no clue about what was actually taught.


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