My family is preparing for a camping & water skiing trip, and even though I'll be gone, my writer hat will still be firmly planted on my head. Writers have a difficult time shutting off their writer brains, and here are some ways we can remain engaged in writing, even though we're on a trip:
- Add words to a current w.i.p.--if writers have a laptop, they can continue plugging away on their manuscript. And if they don't have a laptop, they can continue writing by longhand and transcribe those words when they return home.
- Plotting--writers can bring spiral notebooks or index cards and plot during down times. I plan on bringing a notebook, along with my favorite craft book, and will continue with plot ideas.
- Character study--as I wrote in this post, when we're out and about we can collect character details from unsuspecting vacationers. Perhaps the hunky lifeguard with the "mom" tattoo or the hairy guy wearing the yellow Speedo deserves a spot in a book.
- Audio books--if the vacation includes lots of driving, audio books are a great way to pass the time. My son has to read FEED this summer, and his teacher gave us the green light to use the audio version. I've never read this book, and look forward to joining my son as he listens to it on the long drive to our destination.
- Read a print book--there's nothing quite like opening a print book and turning the dampened, worn pages. Even though reading great books is relaxing entertainment, it still keeps our writing brains engaged.
When all else fails, writers can just let it all go and enjoy the trip. Sometimes our over-active minds deserve a break!
Is there anything you'd like to add to the list? And do you use vacation time to accomplish writerly tasks, or do you stop the presses and push writing to the back of your mind?
Julie, I love your #3, character study! When I'm out and about, I just can't help but watch people, and they always give me something to write about, even if it's only a mannerism or turn of phrase. People are just so fascinating.ReplyDelete
Situations and conversation too. The action around you will click wheels spinning with a what if....
Hope you and your family have a wonderful trip! :-)
Thanks, Susan! Yep, people are fascinating. Maybe the hunky lifeguard and the Speedo guy can be in the same scene :DReplyDelete
Depending on the type of vacation, I usually get more writerly stuff done. The mind is free from home-busy-mode, work is forgotten and time is pushed aside.ReplyDelete
Collecting plot ideas, character traits, etc. is always fun. Fresh and new in the environment of the vacation is always a helper for me.
I think we're always observing, because inspiration can strike at any time!ReplyDelete
As writers our brains seldom stop working. We are constantly searching for story ideas and character details. Remember to enjoy the vacation with your family :)ReplyDelete
Hairy guy in Speedo.... *shudders* Have a great trip and enjoy your time! It sounds like you have a great fall back plan so you don't go into withdrawals. :DReplyDelete
So true! Enjoy your vacation, sure, but it doesn't mean your brain stops working. I love being inspired by nature to create metaphors and similes to make my work more vibrant.ReplyDelete
Have a good time!
Carrying a notebook to add words to WIPs was my crack in college. I'd bring my spiral bounds wherever I went, on vacation, to each class, I'd sit at empty tables and bang out pages that I'd transcribe when I got home. I've started doing it again today, and it was a lot of fun. Writing longhand is a great way to see the words you're putting down slower than typing them. Typing is wicked fun for the hands, and writing can cause cramps, but seeing each word as you write them can make you question if it's really as impactful as you need it to be, :-DReplyDelete
Great suggestions. I'd add to keep an eye out for interesting new settings. I often take pictures when I see something I'd like to describe in a wip so I won't forget the detail.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful holiday. Holidays do provide great fodder for character creation.ReplyDelete
Cheryl, taking photos of unique settings is a great idea!ReplyDelete
Thanks to all of you for your brilliant-as-usual comments.
Good goals! It's true that even though we aren't near a computer we're always writing. Who knows? You may see something that inspires!ReplyDelete
People watching. My favourite hobby. Have a great time :)ReplyDelete
I can never completely shut off my writer's mind. Just last month during vacation I came up with an entire new novel that hit me during a long motorcycle ride. Vacation is inspiring!ReplyDelete
Great post, Julie. I'm on a writing break of sorts this week, just to clean my house and renew my creative energy. But my brain refuses to shut off. Luckily, I have a fairly good head and don't regularly need to write pointers down!ReplyDelete
I hope I never see Speedo guy in this lifetime. I always keep a notebook with me to capture those light bulb moments that run away if we don't write them down. Enjoy FEED. It's awesome.ReplyDelete
Great suggestions! If I'm in drafting mode I bring a notebook with the last sentence I wrote at the top, so I can continue whenever I get the chance. If I'm in revision mode, I put my ms on my Kindle and read it and make notes whenever I get the chance. And I don't go anywhere without something to read!ReplyDelete
Have a great vacation!
That's an awesome picture. I hope you have a great time. I usually write a lot in the car on the way there and back. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
I do love to people watch when I'm out and about! Sounds like you're going to have a great time! Enjoy :)ReplyDelete
Even though I say I take Sundays off from both my jobs (writing and the day job) I always find little writing-related tasks to fit into the day, like reading my crit partners novels or dictating a chapter or two of my revised novel. The result is that I work seven days a week on writing, and somewhere between 65-75 hours a week between both jobs.ReplyDelete
Understandably, when I go on vacation I leave writing behind me. However, I do read and I listen to audio books. I don't consider that "work" as it's always been my favorite pastime, but you're right, Julie. It does keep my brain limber.
Nancy, who's looking forward to three days at the beach without her novel.
I use vacation to read when I can but mostly to spend time with my family. Have a great vacation!ReplyDelete
All great tips! Have a great trip.ReplyDelete
Have fun on your trip with your army of men! :)ReplyDelete
I love people watching and plotting about their lives. I've gotten some crazy story ideas from some of my vacations.
I like to act out my characters; it helps me get a better sense of their voice and demeanor.
If no one around that is!!
Character study is an excellent thing to do on vacation! You can even do it while lying on the beach. Can't beat that!ReplyDelete
I pretty much go everywhere with a little notebook. I'm always jotting thoughts, ideas or phrases down.ReplyDelete
A perfect list! I tend to carry an idea book to jot down plot/character ideas, but otherwise I let my brain relax and enjoy the refreshment of not writing. Or use the opportunity to READ!! :)ReplyDelete
I love paper books on holiday! The pages get filled with the scent of the ocean! :o)ReplyDelete
I always have my writerly brain plugged in, although I try to take a break when I get the opportunity (since I'm so focused normally). Sometimes NOT thinking about a novel quite so hard is the best thing, for a while.ReplyDelete
All good points. I especially agree with carrying a notebook around with you. Nothing like losing genius because you don't have a pen :(ReplyDelete
From your newest follower :)
I'm going on vacation next month, and I LOVED to read this now. I'm SO going to do everything you say!! Unless my hubby complains too much, that is, lol.ReplyDelete
I'm reading the Percy Jackson series with my son, and we were in book 4 during vacation last week. It made the long car trip fly by, and it's fun to read aloud:)ReplyDelete
I've been hearing about writer's retreats lately, and I'm dying to go on one!ReplyDelete
LOL! You had me at yellow spedo. I love these ideas. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Edge of Your Seat Romance
I'm always surprised at what I come up with while I'm not thinking about my writing. That old right vs. left side of the brain theory may be under revision, but there's really something to letting that right side have its way when you want to create.ReplyDelete
ooo, #5 is my FAVORITE way to stay engaged during vacation. And I love that now I can call it part of my job... LOL! Have fun~ <3ReplyDelete
These are all great tips. Have a wonderful time away with your family!ReplyDelete
I recently got back from spending 6 weeks in Italy, and while I didn't do much work on my current WIPs, I did do a lot of other writing and came home filled to the brim with inspiration. Now I am refreshed and ready to go again.ReplyDelete
I think writers need to remember how important it is to just live sometimes. If we don't fully experience the world every now and then, it's sure difficult to come up with compelling material for writing.
Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)
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