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Writing on Vacation – What Do Indie Authors Pack for their Holidays?

cover of TinTin noteboook showing travel destinationsWhat should indie authors do on their vacation? Write every moment they can, or take the opportunity to rest that creative part of their brain? With the summer holiday season in full swing for our members in the northern hemisphere, we thought we’d have a bit of fun today sharing the contents of ALLi members’ suitcases and their different attitudes to writing while on holiday. ALLi Publications Manager Debbie Young packs their thoughts into a post short enough to fit in the smallest carry-on bag.

This post was inspired by Lucy Branch, who was cross at first when she realised she’d left her WIP at home one holiday. To her surprise and delight, ” I then found greater joy and fulfilment with a cheap blank notebook.”

image of notebooks in a suitcaseStationery Addicts

I suspect customs officers find it easy to spot the writers at the baggage xray, because they carry so much stationery. Holidays are the perfect time to treat yourself to that expensive Moleskine notebook. Lynne Pardoe suggests buying notebooks while you’re away to remind you of happy holidays. A number of respondents take fountain pens (I just hope they put them in plastic bags against leaks!)

Christine Frost says “I embrace the option to write unplugged. There always seems to be a deeper train of thought with a favourite, dog-eared journal and fountain pen.”

Notebooks are not only useful for writing your usual genre. Lorna Fergusson always keeps a travel diary. “It’s a chore,” she says, “but I am so glad as the years have gone by that I have recorded everything.

Have Gadgets, Will Travel

Some of you are very well organised. Here’s Georgia Rose‘s packing list: “ipad for emails, Kindle for reading, notebook for writing reviews and holiday diary and fabulous ideas that appear while on a sunbed.”

“Links to all the ALLi posts I’ve saved to read when I have time,” says Eizabeth Ducie.

Plenty of authors reeled off a list of tablets, phones, cameras, and other smart electronic devices. Just don’t forget your chargers and travel adapters, folks! Old-fashioned writing gadgets never caused such problems. “In the old days,” says Ann Victoria Roberts, “travelling abroad to join my husband on merchant ships, usually for a couuple of months, I used to take my typewriter.” Wouldn’t we all like one of those in our luggage?

Transition Time

If you’re writing in tandem with a day job, it can be tempting to treat every holiday as a writers’ retreat – though that may not go down so well with your family.

“I have a wife and three dogs,” says Barry Faulkner. “So there’s no time to write.”

But if that applies to you, don’t worry. Being a writer isn’t only about setting words down on the page. Seeking ideas and finding inspiration, or just letting your subconscious churn away while you relax, are also valid ways to progress your writing career while on vacation.

From Writer to Reader

Packing great books to read is popular.

“An audio book is essential, plus non-fiction to inspire me to come home with good ideas, and a great fiction book to make me want to raise my game,” says Lucy Branch.

Research books accompany Chrissie Parker.

Fill Your Mind, Not Your Suitcase

  • No writing gear,” says Tim Lewis. “It’s not a holiday if I’m writing.”
  • “Camera and yoga mat for inspiration,” says Alexander Kirko.
  • “I don’t like to do much writing on vacation,” says Alex McGilvery. “My goal is experience, new things to weave into stories.”

Last word to Sarah Banham, whose packing list is a simple one: “Notebook, camera, open mind.”

Happy holidays, wherever you are spending your vacation (with apologies to those south of the equator currently in midwinter – your turn to crow over us come December!)

OVER TO YOU Is there an essential we’ve missed? Please feel free to share your recommendations via the comments box!

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OTHER POSTS ABOUT VACATIONS FOR WRITERS – FROM THE ALLi ARCHIVE

Why It’s Good to Beat a Writer’s Retreat

 

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4 Responses to Writing on Vacation – What Do Indie Authors Pack for their Holidays?

  1. Kari Trenten August 15, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

    Interesting article! I’ll admit, I unplug when going on vacation. At the same time, I write constantly. I often go through three notebooks while I travel.

  2. Nancy Christie August 9, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    On my last “working vacation” (the only kind I am taking right now!), I packed magazines and books that had been piling up on my To-Be-Read stack, and after each book signing event, I went back to my hotel room, resisted the lure of the TV and read. It was great! I think I need to schedule mini “reading vacations” as regular events!

  3. Meridith Mckinnon August 9, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    I enjoyed this read – recently I went on a girls trip OS with the intention of not writing – but listened to some great podcasts, did oodles of research on all things from writing to marketing to publishing which was great without feeling I should have been writing instead! I did miss writing though but now I want to create podcasts!!

  4. Philip Hilton August 7, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    What a great fun post, Debbie. Me, I like to make certain I have something to type notes in at least, as I’m a lot quicker typing than I am scribbling. I have to have my Kindle, as mine is like a library in miniature, full of research books and a huge amount of novels, old favourites and those yet to be discovered. Plus classics and such. I have a nifty little bluetooth keyboard for my Kindle, which works very well and fits into its case. A notebook just in case. The rest is adventure time.I also have MS Word on my phone, which is handy.

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