Open book at beach

in Writing

How to Write the Right Way on Vacation

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If you’re in school—or your kids are—you know it’s the season for spring break. This means taking time off work, vacations, and perhaps even relaxing. But what if you want to have a productive break? Here are some tips to help you rest up and write on vacation.


  • Only write during downtime. You’re going to feel guilty and maybe even a little cranky if you write when your family and friends are off having a good time. So to avoid getting jealous, plan downtime into your day (like reading at the beach) and use that time to work on your book!


  • Let the scenery inspire you! Loosen up your outline a bit so that your writing can be influenced by your location. Do you hear the babbling of a stream or the excited yell of fisherman? Incorporate that imagery, and your writing will come alive in a new, exciting way that will make it seem less like a chore.


  • Write longhand. There’s nothing like the buzzkill of carrying 15 pounds of computer to a gorgeous hotel to realize you can’t use it outside AND you forgot the charger. Use a more versatile pad of paper and then transfer your ideas to a computer later. Since you can’t write as fast as you type, you’ll find that you’ve been more careful with your words. Plus, typing a written story into a computer provides an automatic edit!


  • Do research! Is there a book on writing you’ve been meaning to read? How about a similar title to yours? If you can’t seem to engage your brain quite enough to get a high word count in, spend some time laying the groundwork for a good writing session you’ll have later.


  • Don’t feel bad if you don’t have as much time as you thought. If you push yourself too hard, you’ll get burned out or writers’ block. Letting yourself have a week of relaxation away from the pressure of a deadline might actually help you meet it, because when you take a break, you’re letting your subconscious figure out the issues in your MS you haven’t quite found a solution to.  Writing is supposed to be fun, so if you don’t have time and it’s stressing you out, let it go. You’ll get back into the swing of things next week with a million great ideas!


Authors, did you write on your last vacation? Do you have any more tips for the rest of us?

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  1. Many writers also blog, and blogs need photos. Vacation is a great time to snap some photos that can be used on your blog.

  2. I take vacations from my day job for the sole purpose of writing. It’s amazing how productive I can be when the writing is all I have to focus on.

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