Writers on Vacation

I just came back from a wonderful vacation. Things I packed: swimsuit, sunscreen, novel, writing journal.

Actually, this list is similar to my vacation suitcase since I was a grade schooler. Even though I didn’t necessarily write all the time as a kid, when vacation rolled around, I would grab a notebook and let my imagination loose on the long car trips to our final destination.

But what about now? My “normal” life involved all kinds of reading, writing, and editing. What happens when I go on a break?

This question makes me think of my husband and his dad. My father-in-law had a physically demanding job. Every day, he was outside, working until he was weary. When he came home, he’d relax by going inside and reading a hearty Bible commentary. My husband has a mentally and emotionally demanding job. Even though his work space shifts dramatically throughout the week, he is often inside, working until he is weary. When he comes home, he relaxes by going outside and working in the yard.

Not long ago, my husband came home from a retreat. One of the main points is that rest is important and that rest looks different for different people.

For me, I typically still jump at the chance to write when I’m on a break. However, it’s often a different style of writing from what I might be doing on a normal day. Hymns, for example, are a great option for me because I usually write my hymn rough drafts in a journal. Journals are portable and don’t ding with work-related emails. Also, I find writing hymns to be restorative.

This particular vacation, I didn’t write very much, which was disappointing. But that’s only because I took the time to read—a rare treat for me. For the rest of the summer, however, if you find me on a mini getaway or with a few hours to spare, you can be sure I’ll have a pen and writing journal in hand.