Working Vacation: Yes or No?


Some writers work when on vacation, and some prefer to take a break from it all. Of course, sometimes how much writing you can do depends on the kind of vacation you have. If your schedule is jam-packed with sight-seeing every day, writing is not viable. A more leisurely getaway, with more free time, can be a goldmine of writing time.

The main reason I enjoy my vacations to North Carolina is because I get to spend time with my fantastic in-laws. 🙂 The other reason I enjoy my vacations is because there are many more hands to keep Preschooler entertained. It amazes me how much time one little person can suck out of your day! But down there, Preschooler wants to spend her time with Grandma, cousins, aunt, uncle, and Daddy—not boring old Mommy who she sees every day all the time. As an added bonus, since we are not at home, housework cannot take up my time.

And so I get to write. And read. And do other projects like genealogy or photo albums. All the long-term projects that pile up on my To-Do lists at home.

This vacation, I went down with a list of things to do in mind. I completed all of them and then some. Checking all of those items off my To-Do list lifts weights from my shoulders. I can breathe easier, and my anxiety level drops. I feel a sense of success, of completion.

There’s nothing like shortening my To-Do list to recharge me for when I come back home.

So how about you? Are you a working vacation advocate or do you need to leave it all behind to feel refreshed?

Working Vacation

I know that most people return from vacation to a crushing workload of backed up emails, housework, or other work they do. I, on the other hand, have returned from my recent week-long sojourn farther ahead than when I left.

I work from home, with a preschool-age child. So I find that tasks that require prolonged concentration are difficult for me to find time to do. I have the time after she is in bed, but by then my brain is tired and I am prone to stupid mistakes (although this is a good time for creative writing for me). But most business-related tasks require attention to fine detail and often a half an hour or more of blocked time to accomplish competently. For example, I submitted the same short story to 5 magazines recently—and I had to format the story in 3 different ways to follow their guidelines. This is not a complaint—I understand why this is so. This is just to show why I need time to really pay attention to these sorts of details.

As a result, I have had a list of business-related items that I kept saying, “If only I could have a week without distraction, I could get all this done!”

This vacation was that week.

With Preschooler being entertained by Grandma, aunts, cousins, and Daddy, I was able to grab some focused work time. In this week away, I accomplished:

  • Submitting 3 Critique manuscripts to the Philadelphia Writers Conference
  • Submitting 3 Contest manuscripts to the Philadelphia Writers Conference
  • Spending several hours on Duotrope making lists of markets for my various short stories
  • Sent 5 queries out for my short story Dying Breath
  • Sent 5 queries out for my novel The Oracle of Delphi, Kansas
  • Edited 1/3 of my short story Finale
  • Read 2 Newbery-Award-winning novels
  • Critiqued a friend’s short narrative non-fiction piece
  • Wrote a blog post for my personal blog, The Goose’s Quill
  • Wrote the Thursday blog post for our group blog, The Author Chronicles
  • Kept up with social media platforms
  • Slept

I also managed to have fun visiting with relatives and enjoying the beauty of the countryside!

Many people might not consider this much of a vacation, but for me it was ideal. I get so worn out with trying to keep up with everything, and so frustrated pushing things off to the back burner because of time constraints. Getting so much of this done was a great weight off my shoulders, which allowed me to relax.

Do you find yourself working on vacation, or do you really get away from it all?

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