Thursday, 9 March 2017

Do Holidays Ever Go Away?

When I asked the question whether holidays ever go away a friend replied, "Which holidays?" A fair enough question when you consider how many of them there are. Not just the annual 2-4 weeks break from work but the others given as religious or national days, which somehow generally manage to include a long weekend. When I was younger and working full time those extra days of holiday were very welcome  and the 4 week break was a time of freedom from routine and sometimes the boredom of a regular job. Things have changed a fair bit over the past decade or so. Long weekend holidays are still enjoyed by most people , although the service industries we so rely on do sometimes miss out, but they become even more important for those who are expected to work ever longer hours, often for no extra pay, and for those with temporary or casual work who can spend  as much time travelling to and from work as the hours they get paid for.

So, as a writer, no longer having a 'normal' job I realise how lucky I am. I can spend weeks writing, without a break or I can take a big break whenever I want. Unless there is a specific time put aside related to my writing I can shut down the computer, hide my pencil and pad and even close my mind to anything related to what I am currently writing. When there is no deadline I can spread my work over days, weeks, months, even years, if it does not affect my income or my status. So yes, I am lucky to be at a stage where I can more or less take a holiday when I like. Mostly they are breaks of a few days but I could, if motivated, take more. I can simply end this sentence and not write another one until I feel I need to. This can be a few hours later or..whenever.

This is the theory! In practice my mind, my imagination, my need to tell the story, dominates my desire for holidays, in what ever form they come. If a character nags at me to get on with the story then I continue. If I am pushed into describing a scene that very moment then I must. If my heart prods my mind along to revisit a chapter then I do. Under these circumstances I continue working and a break goes off the radar. Yet, in spite of those 'pressures' I know that I can work at my own pace. I can select the times I work or do not.

So do my holidays ever go away? Certainly not. The ones I have had remain as memories to savour.   The ones I have to come are ones that excite me with the visions I have of where they will be and what they will be. Of course, they can also be a great source for the backdrop to a
story. Holidays need to be around forever. Otherwise we might all go stir crazy. There is a fundamental need for all  humans to refresh both body and mind. It makes us better people. Long may holidays reign, no matter what the global corporations or politicians, who receive very generous holidays, say!

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