April 21, 2015

Changing Your Setting

Many papers have been written about the importance of setting to a story. Some have even argued that, in certain cases, the setting can be treated as an additional character. But today, I'm not talking about the settings we use in our writing; I'm talking about our own settings.

As many of you know, I've been feeling rather stuck lately, with my writing, with my career, with just about everything. There was nothing wrong with my everyday life, or with my surroundings, but every day felt like a grind, and my productivity when it came to writing was practically nil. 

Luckily, and thankfully, I went on vacation! Now, a trip to Paris is pretty fantastic on its own, regardless of its impact on "real" life. But I have to say, I couldn't have imagined the effect this change of scenery would have. Simply being somewhere other than my usual surroundings, doing something other than my normal routine, was incredibly restorative. 

It was't until I was on vacation that I realized how long it had been since I had had a (non-emergent) break from my routine. Of course in addition to being recharged, doing something new, being somewhere new, is an occasional imperative for a writer. Experiencing a different culture, and even merely shaking up the monotony of the status quo, will help provide both inspiration and motivation for our work. Even a small change, like a weekend away in a nearby town, can act as a reset on our lives, adding perspective as well as a refreshed approach. It is so easy to forget how important it is to find a way to take a break from the pressures and demands of our everyday routines, but having been reminded myself, I'd like to encourage you all to do just that!

The downside to traveling of course is jet lag. I am not as young as I used to be (a statement that is true literally every time you say it, unless you're Benjamin Button), and I have had a particularly difficult time of it this trip, but hopefully I'll be back on track soon (my life motto lately!). Of course, if you're planning travels to revitalize yourself and perhaps your writing, you may want to consider staying fairly close to your own time zone to avoid this particular consequence.

If you could get away anywhere for the weekend, where would you go? Share in the comments!


  1. Glad to see you're "revived"
    I hope you'll consider Egypt for your next trip ;) (though you'll still have the jet lag issue) but there will be definitely a change of scenery (not a lot of greenery here either).

    Glad to know where you've been hiding this past while and glad you back.

    1. Thanks, Nada! I'm definitely trying to return to some semblance of reliability and structure. Hope you've been well!