writing life, boardwalk, south beach
South Beach Boardwalk: Great for a morning stroll

If you are a writer just starting out, my advice is: write, write, write! 😀 But if you are an author who has been writing for years (possibly squeezing it in between another career and the obligations of raising a family), then my message of holiday cheer to you is: Make sure to take some time off!

I recently had the great fortune to attend a business trip with my husband to South Beach in Miami. When he first suggested I come, I balked. My youngest daughter had an out-of-town gymnastics meet that weekend, I was in the middle of doing revisions for my second book, I have family coming in for the holidays, and I had zero presents, no tree, and a house devoid of red, green, and gold trim. But my husband pointed out I’d missed last year’s trip for similar reasons and it would always be like that. Unless I made a conscious decision to take a weekend off for the sole purpose of hanging out with him, I never would. If I waited for the “right time” (i.e. when nothing else was scheduled), I might not go away with him again until my kids were in college, which is ludicrous. Because you should make time to get away – with your husband, your friends, other family members, or just yourself – for short breaks from both your creative project and the natural stresses of every day life.

Miami, South Beach
Miami’s South Beach
parrots, The Palms, South Beach
The Palms Hotel Parrots: Cheerful and exotic.
writing life, winter break, The Palms Hotel
Ocean view from The Palms Hotel

Bottom Line: I had a wonderful weekend jam-packed with poolside drinks, walks on the beach, a short but relaxing spa visit, a little shopping (in a local bookstore, of course), fantastic food, great company, and a vibrant sampling of Miami’s night life at a nearby club that Saturday night. When I returned home, I was pleased (and, truth be told, not surprised) to find out that all was calm on the domestic front. My youngest did well at her meet and my daughters and MIL (who watched them) had a terrific time together. My revisions are finished and turned in to my editor. We have a tree now and there are ornaments on it. The rest of my house is sufficiently trimmed with red, green, and gold. So what if I still haven’t finished shopping, let alone wrapping? There’s still time and that weekend away was worth it!

Miami, South Beach, Lincoln RoadMiami South Beach OceanBooks & Books on Lincoln Road

So how about you? Have you gone away recently? If so, where did you go? If not, what’s holding you back? You don’t have to go far. Sometimes, being a tourist in your town can be just as much fun as visiting somewhere else. If you haven’t taken some time off in a while, make it a resolution for 2013 and then come back and tell us where you went! Wherever you go – Enjoy! 😀