Nicole J. Simms

Use Your Holiday for Inspiration

Post date: 23rd September 2018

At the end of August, I went on holiday to Maspalomas, Gran Canaria. It was a nice holiday. The weather was glorious, with cloudless skies and non-stop heat. You could easily forget what it feels like to be cold — I now remember, though. The country is an ideal spot for any keen photographer — I ended up taking over 300 photos.

Now, while I did have a good holiday, there were moments where my rage button was pushed. I encountered some rude people (mostly other tourists) which caused me to have many murderous thoughts – hey, what can I say, I am a horror and crime writer after all.

It was while having the violent thoughts that a crime mystery idea started to form. I’ve never written a proper whodunit before, so this idea took me by surprise. It’s true what they say: no experience is a bad experience for a writer. So thanks to those annoying people, I now have an exciting story idea to sink my teeth into, which is better than giving in to any murderous thoughts.

So, this leads me to the purpose of this post. My holiday experiences — like many past holidays — has inspired me, which made me realise that a holiday can be much more than sitting relaxing on a beach. Now, I know the last thing many of you want to do is work on your writing while on holiday (writers need breaks too, right?), but it’s while relaxing on holiday that you may get the best or least expected ideas.

You don’t even need to put in that much effort. You could simply do the following:

  • Keep a holiday journal. It can be as long or as short as you want. The best time to write in it is just before you go to bed.
  • Do observation charts. You can note down what you can hear, see, smell, taste and touch in certain locations, such as the beach, the hotel room or a restaurant. This will help you with your story settings. I like to note down anything unusual I see, hear, feel, taste or smell, which helps me add extra details to help the setting appear more realistic to a reader.
  • Keep a notepad and pen with you at all times. I have a small Harry Potter Hufflepuff (I’m a Hufflepuff, according to Pottermore) notepad that I bring everywhere with me, and it comes in handy when I spot something, or an idea pops in my head.
  • Take plenty of photos and videos. You don’t have to take as many as I did, but they do help to jog your memory when you look back through them.

Out of all the things you can do carrying a notepad and pen is one thing you should definitely do because you never know when you will get that brilliant idea. And when you do get the idea, don’t suppress it, let it flow and consume you.

We are often always so busy that our brain doesn’t have time to think creatively. But with a relaxed mind, the imagination can take full control, and something magical happens when it does. So the next time you’re on holiday, be prepared for those unexpected ideas because they will come.

“A writer never takes a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” ― Eugène Ionesco

Do you have any tips on how a writer can make the most of their holiday? If you have, then feel to comment below with your suggestions.

Keep writing, folks!

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