Going on a Writing Vacation

vacationA writing vacation can mean a lot of things. It can mean taking a vacation from your writing. Or it can mean taking a vacation to write. We have vacation on our minds because ours is coming up – and we are wondering, as always, whether or not to take a little work with us. On the one hand, it is good to get away from everything for a couple of weeks. On the other, it is nice to have a little something to work on, to give us a break from the actual vacation itself: a mental timeout from vacation.

This has got us thinking about writing and vacations. The business of writing vacations is BOOMING. Writing workshops, writing retreats, and writing travel are all over the internet.

This on writing vacations:

We are a group of like-minded individuals who like to write and share our love of writing with others in a quiet, safe, beautiful place. Our programs offer a beautiful place to be, think, write, reflect, and be cared for. Luxuriate in time alone and take time to invest in your writing. Our writing programs provide this place.

Here, traveling to write in Bali:

Study the craft of travel writing while touring an extraordinary destination. Taught by seasoned travel journalists, our writing workshops provide instruction on writing technique, online publishing, social media, travel photography and more…

Writing Retreat:

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Dylan Thomas’ birth by immersing yourself in the literary landscape immortalized in his poetry and prose. This writing retreat will feature supportive workshops, socializing with local writers and excursions along the beautifully rugged coastline.

We get a kick out of these. Wasn’t writing supposed to an inexpensive hobby? Just a pen and paper and a quiet place? Or maybe, a word processor and some time out? Also, if the writer-vacationer is touring and attending workshops, how much writing is being done? Talking about writing is not the same thing as actual writing.

So please do not be fooled into thinking you need to take an expensive trip in order to be a writer. A writing vacation can be a lot of things that don’t require money. For one thing, writing is a vacation. When you put pen to paper or start clicking on those computer keys, you can go anywhere you want. You can have imaginative adventures in exotic places. You can meet all kinds of people. You can feel the wind on your face and the sun in your hair. Writing is powerful travel magic, better in some ways than actual vacations because you don’t ever have to bump up against limitations like bad weather and missed flights.

If your need is to take a vacation from your writing, try beach writing, which is to say, put aside whatever you are currently working on and try something different. This is from a 2013 article in Ploughshares by Rebecca Meacham:

A creative vacation doesn’t require that you change your actual location, or that you stop producing. A basic departure might include these essentials: Anywhere but here. Take your writing somewhere utterly different than your current creative project, in terms of setting, vantage point, genre, style, voice, form, or all of the above.

  1. Anywhere but here. Take your writing somewhere utterly different than your current creative project, in terms of setting, vantage point, genre, style, voice, form, or all of the above.
  2. Seek pleasure. Write something new that incorporates one or more of these: music, colors, spies, submarines, spaceships, monsters, conspiracies, betrayals, bikinis, Speedos, toenail polish, flora, fauna, water, sand, boats, surf boards, exhibits, rides, neon, sunsets, happy people, sweat, deep-fried food, gourmet dishes, corny jokes, coolers, convertibles, and/or fizzy lifting drinks.
  3. Stay for at least a week. This is arbitrary, but for me, the temptation is to take a daytrip, then return at night to my obsession. A week allows utter departure from the daily grind.