What 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.”
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?
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!)
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OTHER POSTS ABOUT VACATIONS FOR WRITERS – FROM THE ALLi ARCHIVE