Not What I Expected, But Exactly What I Needed

A few days ago, I returned from a week-long vacation in Boston. 

Before I left, back when the trip was still in its planning stages, I envisioned myself sitting on the waterfront, perhaps in a cafe, laptop open, writing away. Don't all writers have that fantasy? Vacation as writing retreat.

Alas, that didn't happen. I didn't open the folders (paper or electronic) that hold The Novel, nor did I open a Word doc to write anything new. The only writing I did was in the airport, on the day I left, while waiting to board my plane, when I scribbled a couple of scenes for a new novel in my writer's notebook.

A view of the Charles River from the Harborwalk in Boston's North End
The lake in Boston's Public Garden
Now that I'm home, I can see that a week without writing was exactly what I needed. I was far more burned out than I realized. Instead, I needed to walk (which I did to exhaustion), and visit with old friends, and sit in a park, and watch the water. I did all of the above, and I feel better for it.

I didn't get what I expected, but I definitely got what I needed.