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It’s so easy to find inspiration on vacation. If you’re anything like me, you often tell yourself things like, “If I could just escape to the beach for a few weeks to a more artsy/energetic/beautiful/interesting setting I could easily finish this manuscript.”

But what is it about vacation that makes it so easy to write? And is there a way to bring it back to home? I think so. Here’s how you can try.

miami beach


Yes, writing is hard. And it requires discipline. But being stressed is a huge writing buzz-kill.

My advice? Try to changing your perspective.

Put your deadlines and page-count goals aside for a day or two and do something that makes you feel good. Light some candles, get a massage, do some yoga, play some slow jams. Relax. Then write.

Use Your Senses

When you’re on vacation you know you only have a few days to experience the best a city has to offer so you do what you can to make the most of your time there.

You taste the best dishes whether from a five-star restaurant or a hole in the wall. You embrace local music, soaking up the energy of the people dancing around us. You breathe in the smell of salt water and suntan lotion. You see everything—the clothes people are wearing, the art on the walls, the architecture of the buildings.

On vacation, you’re present.

And when you’re present, you appreciate and remember the descriptive detail that is required of a creative manuscript.

The daily grind makes it easy to miss the glories of your immediate surroundings, but guess what? They are there.

Go to that local favorite you’ve been meaning to try. Pay attention to the people around you—what makes them so clearly D.C./New York/[Insert Your City Here]-people? As the saying goes, go out and smell the Cherry Blossoms. When you do it on vacation, it’s inspiring—so why not try it at home?


I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of reading done on vacation. On the airplane, on the beach, at a local cafe. And reading always, always motivates me to write.

At home, I often think I simply don’t have the time—but it’s not really true. If I switched an hour or two I spend watching TV for reading, I’d have that time. I’m sure you could make happen as well if you put your mind to it.

Next time you’re bored or have some time to kill, rather than plop in front of the TV, pull out that book you’ve been trying to finish.


Take fifteen minutes to write a scene from the perspective of a foreigner visiting your city for the first time. Share with us below!

Monica M. Clark
Monica M. Clark
Monica is a lawyer trying to knock out her first novel. She lives in D.C. but is still a New Yorker. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter (@monicamclark).
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