The Vacation Writing Balancing Act

I have a demanding career in real life.  Writing is something I do for fun, in my free time.  So when it comes to vacations, I admit to being torn.  When I get the luxury of time away from the office, I want to set aside time for writing.  But, I also know I need time away from writing, to recharge and fill the creative well.  Like everything, it's a compromise.

Here are ways I've found to relax and enjoy the family, and get in some writing time:

1.  Morning Starbucks Run:  I get up 6:30, like a regular work day.  Then I steal writing time between 7 and 9 when the rest of the family is asleep or getting ready for the day.  I bring back everyone a Starbucks and we're ready to start our day.

2.  Nighttime editing:  After the day's activity, I spend some time in the evenings working on the morning's pages while the rest of the family is unwinding or watching TV.  I don't write at night during the week when I'm working, but it's easier to do while I'm on vacation.

3. Airplane Marathon:  Airplanes are great for uninterrupted writing time.  I plug into my playlist and write, write, write.  I got a netbook with a ten hour battery life which is small enough to open all the way in even the narrowest economy row, and lasts long enough for a cross-country flight with a layover.

4.  Car Ride Plotting:  Dead time in a car is perfect for brainstorming what happens in the novel.  Occasionally I ask my family questions and ask for their input, which leads to fun discussions.

5.  Car Ride Reading:  On long trips with stretches of freeway, with my husband at the wheel, I can often read from my kindle without getting car sick.  Not from a book though, which is strange.  If I'm driving, and my passengers are game, a book on tape is a great way to read while traveling.

6.  Realistic Goals: If I don't have a looming deadline, than I try not to pressure myself.  If I want to sleep in, I sleep in.  If I'd rather go to a movie than write, I go to a movie.  If I only get two pages instead of twenty, I still got two pages.  Keeping an open mind and eradicating guilt is critical to balancing writing and vacation time.

7. Travel Essentials:  I never travel without my laptop, charger, wrist guards and iPad.  If I'm traveling on a plane, I bring my netbook. I used to bring a kindle and charger, but now I use the iPad kindle app to access electronic books.  Having the tools to write ensures that I can write when and if I want too.



THANK YOU for posting #6! The reminders to keep an open mind and eradicate guilt are coming in very handy today and are too often too easy for me to ignore.

Great tips, Talia! I think #6 is also good to keep in mind while staying at home with my kids this summer and trying to do my writing on the sly.

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