|As photos go, this one's pretty bad. |
But as a metaphor, it's dead on,
vacation (Candy Kitchen) and
characters jockeying for position.
We'll also go to the beach, of course (spoiler alert: I'll get one very sunburned leg because I drowned my husband in sunscreen then forgot to put said sunscreen on my own legs), and spend time out on the screened-in porch in the mornings and evenings, as well as going out to eat and probably doing some shopping. Then there are the chapters I'm supposed to be working on, and the tweets and posts for my #ChristmasinJuly promotion and...
Do you see what I just did? I took work on vacation. I can argue that, when it's something I enjoy doing, it's not really work but, that's not completely true. When deadlines and must-do's loom in my head, that's not pleasure. That's work.
Yesterday, on the beach, I watched an adorable toddler use the pole of a beach umbrella to pull himself up to standing and then look up in wonder at the underside of the umbrella. The psych professor in me went immediately to dynamic systems theory, the collision of opportunity and motivation, and Piaget's sensorimotor stage wherein the senses and physical capabilities guide cognitive development.
If you dozed off during the end of that last paragraph, that's okay. Better than okay, actually. I was at the beach, for heaven's sake. Why were dead developmental theorists there with me? Ditto blog posts and deadlines.
For me, vacation and writing are inextricably linked, particularly since the screened-in porch at the condo where we stay is my favorite place to write. But writing doesn't have to mean deadlines and, on vacation, it probably shouldn't unless I'm in danger of missing one.
So, yesterday, I inaugurated Beach Pages. Years ago, my former agent clued me in to Morning Pages, a concept that just didn't click for me. It's a great idea, but I'm too impatient to carry it out, preferring instead to dig into the work I need to do (or, if I'm honest, procrastinate by easing slowly into the morning).
At the beach, however, it seemed like a great idea, but one I wanted to tweak. As a non-morning person, I prefer to ease into the day, especially when I'm on vacation. But, on the beach, I feel drawn to write. What better place is there for me to let my mind go free and to simply empty thoughts onto the page? Faced with seemingly endless stretches of sand and sea, why shouldn't I let my mind do likewise, moving beyond the boundaries of topics and chapters and deadlines?
And so, this week, that's what I'll do. Every serious goal needs a notebook, of course (at least if you're a stationery aficiando like I am), so last night, I went searching for one. Though there were contenders, I didn't find quite what I had in mind. Disappointing, but if a legal pad worked yesterday, I can press it into service again today. (Hmm...now I think I need a notebook with a pocket....)
There's only one rule to Beach Pages: write. Since I'm used to using writing sprints, I'm adapting them here. I grab my paper and pen (soon to be a notebook and pen), set my phone timer for an hour and write. About anything. Or nothing.
No rules. Just write. That's a vacation plan I can get behind.