Pros and Cons of writing while on vacation

This weekend, I board a cruise ship for a week-long vacation with my family. Explore Carnival MagicDuring this time, I won’t be working on my latest writing project or my blog. I won’t be updating Facebook or Twitter (though thanks to Hootsuite I will have some Tweets about my blog because I already have things scheduled to post.)

But there are other trips in which I do spend some time writing. The family has accompanied my husband on a few trips, and I took the car ride or some of the downtime to write. I also recently attended a PTA leadership conference and took my early rising time to catch up on my blogging.

So as you can see, in my case, it depends on the trip, whether I write or not. Here are some pros and cons of writing away from home.

Pros

  • If you hold a job or jobs besides writing, vacations or time away from work may be your only chance to get some serious writing done. You are free of burdens and constraints. Of course, you may only be free of some of the burdens if you aren’t vacationing alone. Either way, you can always stake some time to write if you really have the desire or are maintaining a daily writing goal.
  • It can give you something to do during the car ride or plane trip. Or if you have young kids – it gives you something to do during nap time.
  • Sometimes a change of location can inspire your imagination. Or perhaps a location or someone you meet can inspire you to write when you have been having writer’s block. Or maybe you will think of a new story for a future book – so keep a notebook handy to jot down your ideas.

Cons

  • It can take your time away from relaxing or spending time with loved ones or friends. (Though if truly dedicated, you probably can squeeze some time to write in somewhere.)
  • It can be hard to focus when you are off your schedule or out of your typical writing routine or area.
  • It can be hard to write away from home if you don’t have a laptop. I am writing this on my tablet but also write longhand sometimes too. So stash a notepad in your bag if for no other reason to jot down ideas that might come while your mind is distracted by the scenery or your talkative Aunt Muriel.

Since my iPad is going on the cruise, and I will probably have some downtime – most of which I am planning to read – there is a chance I could do some writing but my goal on this vacation is to have fun with the family.

On other trips, I have used my downtime as writing time. When we go to the beach, there is often a rest period during the afternoon in which the kids play with their toys, and I write. On our trip to a resort in Bastrop, TX in June, we had some downtime while waiting for my husband to finish his conference.

It all depends on what YOU want to do. If you need the rest and relaxation, then by all means take the time off. If this is a once in a lifetime trip, again, I would say take the time off and enjoy. But if you have the time or are trying to meet a writing goal, then writing on vacation doesn’t have to take away from the vacation. There will always be some sort of downtime for you to write if you choose.

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