Once in awhile even the most dedicated writer needs a break. Well, why not? Workers in other fields take vacations from their daily work schedule. Why not writers?
The problem is that writers work in their imaginations, so that even while we can remove ourselves physically from our keyboards (sometimes with the forceful persuasions of our long-suffering spouses!) we can't turn off our busy brains.
Still, this can be a blessing, even though we may not see it that way. The writer's imagination, freed from the everyday routine, may come back refreshed and renewed. Or, even better, it may be spinning away under the surface while we're taking photos and exclaiming over exotic vistas, picking up bits and pieces that will enrich the current work or inspire a new story.
Even as you're ready this, I am going ashore in Belize, intent on a day of shopping, sampling local cuisine, and exploring local crafts. After a traumatic month this fall with my husband's hospitalization for complications following the flu, we're ready for some rest and recreation.
But what will I find in Belize or Honduras that could possibly relate to the Amish stories I write? Well, people are people no matter where they live. The tenderness of a mother with a child is the same whether the woman is a suburban mom, a Amish farm wife, or a Honduran native. And then, of course, there are always one's fellow travelers. Writers are inveterate eavesdroppers, I fear. A spat between spouses about the cost of something sounds much the same no matter where they are, and traveling can sometimes bring out unexpected insights even into people we think we know very well.
So while I sit in the sun with my husband and go exploring with my sister-in-law, I know I'll be storing up bits and pieces that will, at some time, come into play with my writing. Bon Voyage!