Yesterday we celebrated a very dear friend’s wedding. This post is written a week in advance, and it is such a freeing feeling to have everything in place, for a vacation to be a true vacation. I love my creativity. I love the idea of having uninterrupted time to create, and a vacation would seem like the perfect time. In the past I have selectively chosen to create certain projects while on vacation - editing a novel, writing blogs. However, as I continue on this beautiful creative journey I can appreciate the need to step back from everything. To stop the schedules and the timetable. Stop trying to squeeze in creativity among rest and adventure and peace.
I wanted to be totally focused on this week, this wonderful celebration and the time spent with friends whom we don’t see often due to distance and life in general. Having to steal time from rest to create when I should be sleeping didn’t appeal to me, and having to miss out on adventure or quality time with people I love wasn’t an option. How then to keep creativity in my daily routine without sacrificing precious moments? I have left my laptop at home. Pre-loaded my posts, and only dedicate time each day to blog posts and social media uploads as per usual.
This is a vacation of peace. And I am at peace with this process. This decision to step back from actively creating and rest instead. That isn’t to say I’ve abandoned it altogether. I still have my notebook with me at all times, magazines for inspiration, and a wonderful novel or two to keep me company in moments of calm and solitude. Taking this time away from producing is a necessary part of the process for me. When I am able to step away and take the time to rest and learn, to allow that growth to happen in the background I get to be pleasantly surprised when I dive back into a project and see the excitement of creating expand again.
Another fail safe I’ve added in recent years is an extra day tacked onto the end of a vacation at home for recovery. Whether it’s from a drive to camp, unpacking from an extended trip, or resting after a big adventure, an extra day to literally just rest is now essential for me to return to work and play in good form. This will be my first ever plane trip, and I know that with the excitement and adventure happening all week, the logistics and stress of travelling in a new way for the first time will be draining. Giving myself the space from creativity and extending my period of rest makes for a more enjoyable vacation.
One thing creatives can have a hard time doing is stepping away from our craft. As a writer I agree, but as a dance teacher I know how necessary it is to give your mind and body a break from constant output. I am fortunate enough to only teach during the school months, and so I get a few months of inactivity, completely separated from the studio and the dancers and the lesson plans and the choreography. My brain needs a break to creatively recharge for a new season of dance. So , instead of stepping away for months at a time from my novel projects or blogging, I choose to take my vacations as true breaks from my regularly scheduled life including my creativity.
However, stepping away only gives me more run up space to dive right back in upon my return full of rest, inspiration, and delight to continue on my creative path.