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  • Writer's pictureChristensen

Finding Inspiration while on Vacation

Updated: Mar 20, 2018

One of the awesome things about being a professor is that you get two and a half months off between terms. I teach 16 weeks, and then, I get that long break. Yes, I know it is insane that I get almost half the year off. I'm not complaining!

I do remain busy, though. In fact, my wife has told me numerous times that I don't know how to rest. Sorry, love, but you are right. I have all these projects that I want to get done in my free time. So, even though it would benefit me to rest, I just can't get away from the checklist in my mind.

This past break, one of my goals was to spit polish one of my novels to get it ready for querying. Just like with finding a job, a writer must submit their work in the hopes that it will get published...somewhere and somehow. Honestly, for the past 20+ years, I have just been letting my writing sit in piles of paper both in the real world and in the virtual world. I just didn't see writing as the career that God wanted me to take, and so I never really pursued it. I think, in part, I was also scared. I wrote because I enjoyed it, and that was enough for me. Though, two years ago, a bunch of my classes were canceled, and so I found myself with an even more abundance of time. And with that abundance, I finally set the goal of finishing a novel and getting it published (mostly to strike off a bucket list item, to be honest).

And here we are. I'm now taking my writing more seriously. I would have never thought of writing blogs that the world could possibly read. As I told one of my co-workers, I find most blogs to be written by self-absorbed individuals who give their opinions on things they really don't know anything about. I warn my students to never use a blog as a source in their academic writing. I, personally, only read blogs if it is a friend of mine who wrote it, and I just want to know how they are doing.

Though, back to the title of this blog piece, "finding inspiration while on vacation". Don't. Well, at least don't write. Enjoy your vacation! Put aside that pen or laptop of yours and go out and enjoy the time with whomever you went on a trip with. And if you happen to pick up some adventures and experiences that you can then incorporate into your writing, then great! If not, then you have sat on a beach and enjoyed the relaxing sun. That, in my opinion, is worth more than writing.

My wife and I went to Guam this past February. Our birthdays are three days apart, so we have gone on a "birthday trip" almost every year. This year, we went to Guam because it didn't have the Zika virus and my wife is pregnant. Though, during the time, I didn't write a single word. In fact, I think I intentionally left my laptop home. I had chatted with my wife about bringing it so that I could write on the beach, but she asked me to be there with her and not lost in my worlds in writing. And I am grateful that I was there with my beloved!

I picked up the pen to write, and I will continue writing because I enjoy doing so. But first and foremost, I will continue living.

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