We’ve just got back from our annual spring holiday in Trelowarren, Cornwall. I love holidays! I believe they’re absolutely crucial for boosting creativity. To be honest, I didn’t once think about the thriller I’m writing at the moment – but I hope I’ll approach it with vim and vigour and some fresh ideas when I get back to working on it. What the holiday allowed me to do – by stepping away from my daily routines, minor stresses and familiar environment – was to give me the space and time to think about the Bigger Picture.
Normally I try and read as many novels as possible when I’m away (although that can feel like work!) but this time I read some non-fiction books. I started off with Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin, which is about how to be more productive and happier by changing your habits. I loved it so much, I read Rubin’s first book in this series – The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. So now I have a list of new habits to help me Be More Productive and Have More Fun!
Rubin is a big advocate of scheduling to enable you to form a habit and it was only when I’d finished creating my schedule that I realised I’d missed off the thing I like to do most – read! I read for research in my novel-writing time, I listen to thrillers (also work!) whilst I’m exercising but I don’t make time to read purely for pleasure. I still haven’t figured out where to fit Reading for Pleasure into my packed itinerary. But the amount of new tips, ideas and inspiration I picked up just by being removed from my daily life was invaluable.
Everyone needs a break so they can see the whole wood instead of the bark of a single tree: if you haven’t got a huge amount of money, a house-swap, a house-sit, Air B&B or camping are great options. As an aside, we’ve two staycations to save money. The first one was amazing: we’d just moved into our house, we were child-free; we filled the fridge full of nice cheese and wine, bought flowers, washed all the sheets and towels and did lots of incredible trips (have a look at my blog about Bristol). The second one wasn’t so much fun: my daughter was three. It kind of felt like a normal week looking after her but with my husband sitting on the sofa watching mountain bike videos.
Ah well, need another holiday to figure out when to Read More!
What do you think about when you go on holiday? What are the biggest benefits of holidays for you?