Ah wanderlust, the most contagious of ailments.

It’s worse than a common cold. I dread it more than the changing of seasons, when my sinuses act up and I get the most obnoxious cough known to man.

It’s wanderlust. And there is only one way to satisfy it: travel.

I love adventures. There is nothing quite like going somewhere or doing something that’s just…exhilarating. And the funny thing is, one of the best parts about these travels is when you get to come back and tell people about it.

Wanderlust fuels storytelling.

No offense to the writers out there who sit at home, day in and day out, typing away at their billion page novel. I’m sure it’s fantastic, full of wit and drama and whatever else…but is it full of life? How can you write a convincing story without having experienced life?

I’m not saying you have to be going through what your characters are going through. For many of us, that would be quite impossible.

But if you are only living through your characters, and not through yourself, you’re going to resent them and your book.

It’s true. It happened to me.

I wrote a book about a boy named Jonah. I don’t want to get into his story because 1) he needs a serious rewrite even though the concept was solid, and 2) I just don’t want to talk about it, okay. Anyway, you can imagine that Jonah went on many wonderful adventures, while I stayed home, went to college, and generally got very annoyed with the fact that Jonah seemed to be having a lot more fun than me.

Yes, I would say I was jealous of Jonah. There was a remedy, however my empty wallet wasn’t about to let me splurge. Still, if I can write creative ways for my characters to get into mischief, then surely I can think of ways for myself to satisfy my craving of wanderlust without breaking the bank. I was just being lazy.

There’s something about a full-time job that makes you equally want to stay at home all the time but also want to go everywhere. It’s a conflicting emotion that you just have to move past, and I urge you to do it.

I admire people who can work on their books for hours, that’s just not me. I need movement, I need breaks, I need Reese’s and wine and Orphan Black. But most of all, I need to experience life. I need to swim in the springs, visit an antique store, go to Harry Potter world or the beach or Egypt…something…anything. I need to get out of my apartment or my coffee shop and live a little.

It’s necessary, so don’t guilt trip yourself about how if you take a day off you won’t meet your word quota. Forget quota. Not a single word will matter if you end up hating your book and yourself in the process.

 

Here’s a little Coldplay for you while you make your weekend wanderlust plans…

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