Vacation 10 – Writing 0

Can a writer fully embrace vacation? Is it different for a writer with a day job vs. a full time writer?  I love my vacations, whether to visit family or friends, whether it’s a 3 day weekend or 10 days off. But I miss my writing time.

With a full time day job, I don’t have nearly enough time for writing. It just seems a shame to take time off from work and not get any words put down on paper. But I can’t be anti-social and ignore my family or friends on those trips. The writing ends up taking a back seat.

I wonder if others manage to sit back and relax in the beach chair, book (or Kindle) in one hand, ice cold [insert beverage of your choice] in the other? Great scenery. Oh…you thought I meant the waves crashing against the shore. Ahem.

What about you? How do you manage to squeeze some writing time into your vacations? Or do you?

  1. Marie Loughin Avatar

    If vacation=visiting family, excusing yourself to do some writing might be your real vacation 🙂

    1. Char Avatar

      Oh so true, Marie! 🙂

  2. Jadey Avatar

    I started writing fanfic back in 2008, but I’ve always written stories on and off over the years. For a while, babies and then toddlers took front seat and the writing was squeezed in as and when, and holidays were just holidays, no writing at all.

    In the past couple of years, when I’ve been more prolific with my writing, and taken it a little more seriously, I’ve found holidays and time away from home frustrating because I wanted to write but had little or no time to do so. It was easier when my boys were younger and went to bed earlier, but they are aged 9 and 11 now and rarely hit the sheets before 9.30pm, even later when on holiday.

    So, I took stock and decided that, rather than feeling divided about whether to embrace the holiday and let the writing go, or whether to try and write any opportunity I could find, I would use holiday times as a time to relax and enjoy my family, but, at the same time, I would always carry a notebook and pen and jot down any ideas, be they plotlines, bits of dialogue, titles or even just random thoughts, and only once home again sit with my laptop/desktop and turn those jottings into full blown fics. Having decided this, I now find that I enjoy the holidays a lot more. And, if I am lucky enough to find a bit of time and space to write, then I will write longhand and type it up once home again. Some of what I consider my better stories have come from nothing more than a random jotting in a seaside cottage or a hotel room.

    I do think that writers, even part-time ones like myself, should allow themselves some time off. Who knows, maybe a masterpiece will be the result of doing nothing at all!

    1. Char Avatar

      Excellent! I’ve started using either the voice memos or the notes application on my iPhone to catch those snippets of plot, dialogue, etc. Of course, I only use the voice memo when I’m alone – it would be quite eye-raising if others heard some of the dialogue!

      Oh to be sitting at a seaside cottage right now! That’s my goal for next summer – St. Ives, here I come. 🙂

      1. Jadey Avatar

        I don’t have an iPhone, so my bits of dialogue, etc, often end up scribbled on shopping receipts and the like, if I don’t happen to have my notepad to hand. I’ve even sat in a public loo and unrolled the inside of a toilet roll to hastily scribble down a fic idea!

        We are holidaying in Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire in a couple of weeks time, staying in the same cottage we’ve rented twice before. It was in that cottage, whilst looking under a bed for a lost toy, that I found a plain silver ring. I liked it and slid it on my middle finger (which was the only one it fitted) and hey presto I had the idea of Guy giving Robin a ring to symbolise their ‘togetherness’ – thus illustrating that fic ideas can come about when you’re least expecting them! The ring has stayed on my finger ever since.

        St. Ives is lovely; I hope you manage to get there successfully next summer.

  3. Catherine Hedge Avatar

    I Squeeze my writing in late at night after everyone else has gone to bed. My People are less willing to wake you up as we all love to stay up late and talk.

    1. Char Avatar

      You’re a night owl, Cathy! 🙂 It’s 9pm and I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.

      1. Catherine Hedge Avatar

        Sweet dreams! See you tomorrow?

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