Today I am delighted to have children’s freelance writer, Sara Matson, as my guest. Sara and I went to high school together years ago and hadn’t been in touch until we crossed paths through Verla Kay’s Blue Boards this past summer. What a delightful surprise to discover we’d both chosen similar writerly journeys! I hope you will be inspired and renewed, as I have, by Sara’s thoughts on the importance of “Spirit Vacations”. Take it away, Sara!
One long-ago November morning, I reserved a room at a local hotel, packed my laptop and a few clothes, and—somewhat guiltily—kissed my husband and twin toddlers goodbye. Then I ran away from home. The magical 24 hours that followed included silk pajamas, chocolate cake, and lots of writing. I returned home happy…and wondering how soon I could go again.
Ten years have passed, and the mommy guilt has lessened as I have become bolder. Besides feeding my spirit, taking time to fuel my writing dream makes me a nicer mom and wife. I now run away regularly 2 or 3 times a year. Along the way, I’ve learned a few things that might help others who need a break.
1) Two nights are better than one. For me, much of the first night is about unwinding. (Book and bubble bath, anyone?) Scheduling 2 nights away, or even 3, allows me to relax and accomplish a lot.
2) Groupons and Hotwire.com deals can help keep costs down. So can hotels with a free breakfast and a mini refrigerator for storing a sandwich or two.
3) Typing on a laptop for hours = tight muscles. I pack sweats and sneakers for running up and down stairs or visiting the workout room between writing sessions.
4) These trips are deductible; at least my tax man says so. I save my hotel bill and meal receipts. I also keep a detailed list of the manuscripts I worked on in case I’m ever questioned.
Running away from home is a practice I plan to continue. In fact, by the time you read this, I’ll have just returned from a weekend away. Why not consider a spirit vacation of your own? There’s nothing like a day or two of uninterrupted writing time to refresh, invigorate, and satisfy. But silk pajamas and chocolate cake don’t hurt, either.
Sara lives, writes, and homeschools her 7th grade daughters in Minnesota. She has published more than 80 stories, articles, crafts and activities in HIGHLIGHTS, HIGHLIGHTS HIGH FIVE, POCKETS, and other magazines, and has contributed to six CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books. Please visit her website at http://www.saramatson.com.