Monday, 22 August 2011

Aint No Cure For The Summertime Muse

By Richard Jay Parker

Pardon the pun in the title - couldn't resist.  It is the holidays.  Do writers really get a holiday though?

Writing is a difficult process to quantify.  It can't really be measured in terms of how much time is spent at the keyboard or how many words are achieved each day.  It's ongoing and the flippers of the creative duck are always frantically paddling under the surface.

Most writers agree that they're never off the clock.  Imagination never breaks for the summer.  This is the time of the year when I really notice it.  With so many people away and the kids off from school a lot of people have a more casual attitude towards work than normal.  Phone tennis is played and everyone resigns themselves to the fact that not much is going to get done.

I don't think there are many writers who can put their creativity on voicemail or autoreply for a couple of weeks.  Even when we're meant to be relaxing and catching up on some holiday reading everything remains a trigger for our next idea.

But better this way than not being able to find inspiration at all.

So for us it's another long drink and maybe a few hastily scribbled notes by the pool.

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  1. Amen. Then there's those of us who WISH we were writing full time but have to also do the "day job". Talk about NO VACATIONS. ;-)

    BTW, my muse is not a duck but, rather, a tapir. Same challenges, sans water.

  2. I can echo R.S. Guthrie's comments. I can't speak for everybody who writes part-time whilst working another full-time job, but for me I actually found the summer holiday at the beach/poolside a great time to allow my creativity to flow. I actually found that relaxing in the sunshine allowed my focus to be purely on the writing and I got some of (I believe) my best chapters done on holiday this year.

  3. Thanks, R S. Writing round a full time job shows real commitment. A tapir? Those short legs must work as hard as a duck's flippers.

    Hi Daniel. Glad your holiday was so productive. You're right, for a lot of writers the uninterrupted creative process is a vacation in itself.