Mastering the "Write-cation"

You’ve finally settled into a productive writing routine. Your characters have come to life on the page, you’re knees-deep in helpful, stimulating research and you finally think you see your manuscript’s conclusion looming on the horizon.

But, there’s one problem: Vacation.

That blissful getaway you’ve been planning for months is suddenly more of a roadblock standing between you and finishing your book. But, it’s easier than you think to write while on vacation — or, at least to keep your creativity flowing.

3 tips on how to create your “Write-Cation”

1. Keep a journal.

I’m a big fan of free writing. It’s easy to stick to, and it’s fun. When traveling, strive to paint a picture of your new surroundings. Embrace sensory description when you free write. Even if you travel to the same inn or beach house every summer, journaling can lead you to fresh observations.

Scrutinizing the subtlest of smells, sounds and sensations of your vacation destination can also enrich your novel’s setting. Who knows — you may end up scribbling something you want to keep.

2. Hunt for unique anecdotes.

Writing non-fiction? Traveling can lead you to fascinating new people with mesmerizing stories to tell. You can easily find fodder for telling anecdotes for your book. Talk to people. Tell them about your project. Whether it’s the man brewing your espresso at the local coffee shop, or your jetskiing instructor, you may meet someone whose story might add another angle, or a much-needed human element to your book.

For instance, if you’re writing a book about parenting, you now have the chance to interview parents who live in a completely different setting, with a potentially surprising perspective on raising children.

3. Get to work anyway.

Aren’t sure how to balance that with time with friends or family? Sometimes, all is takes is 30 minutes a day. Try to write before the kids get up. If you don’t want to lug your laptop on a plane, try talking your thoughts into a tape recorder. Have a beautiful view in your hotel room? Turn your desk toward the wall (as torturous as that sounds), to really get your mind in work mode, if only for a small fraction of your day. Clear your mind so you can truly enjoy that nature hike or day at the spa.

Don’t forget the ultimate “write-cation” experience — writers’ retreats! Surrounding yourself with other writers can be an invigorating experience.

7 comments on “Mastering the “Write-cation”

  • What a fun idea! i feel like i’d need to go on vacation with another writer though, for an extra push to stay off the beach for TOO long lol

  • I really do like the idea you have, Diane, on keeping a journal for sensory observations. I’ve also written a few things while visiting new places and my piece of advice is to also take along a camera to document things like menus, museum artifacts, interesting people I see on the street that I want a visual picture of when I turn to my writing. Overall, a fantastic post. Will you have a version for the holidays, perhaps? (I’ve found it’s even harder for me to sit down and write even an email when the house is buzzing with friends and family!)

    Thank you for these great tips, and I am really enjoying the new site.

    • Hi Russ,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. Your idea of bringing a camera along to meticulously document your surroundings actually sounds fantastic. Thank you for sharing. And, what a great suggestion for a holiday-themed write-cation blog! What writing projects do you specifically work on? We’ll keep in touch!


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