Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Do Authors Take Vacations From Their Writing? by Rolynn Anderson

I’m returning from two weeks in Kauai; about that, I have no complaint.  How dare I?  My topic is mixing writing with vacationing.

Okay, before I go into the vacation issue, I’m saying right here: I miss sun tanning.  When I used to go to a beachy climate, I’d spend many hours in the sun, often with minimal sun screen.  Within days, I looked so healthy and my brown skin clearly stamped me with a nut-brown ‘she’s on vacation’ look.  When doctors screamed at us to STOP lying in the sun, the joy went out of the whole endeavor.  I mean, why slather myself up with #50 SPF to be sure I won’t go toasty, then go lay out under a palapa IN THE SHADE, just to be sure those little melanomas and basal cells don’t get a grip on my skin?  In the end, I order food and drink, gaining pounds and liver problems in place of skin cancer.  Geesh!  (Just so you know, I’m in the airport now, waiting with other vacationers, to board a plane to San Jose.  Not one of them has a tan except for one surfer dude.  Seriously.)

I digress.  How many of you write when you’re on vacation?  I do.  I rise in the mornings to put in some hours and I also push out a scene in the afternoons after a nice glass of wine.  In short, I’d say only two days out of seven of my vacations days are completely without writing time, and every day, I do some marketing, at least checking up on Facebook and if I’ve got a blog out, advertising the entry.

My question: How good are you at taking breaks from your work?

As you contemplate the question: here’s a picture of Koi in the pond at Duke’s an old surfing hangout near the Lihue Airport.  We had beverages and calamari here; the Koi waited for a handout. Nope!



16 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

Last time we were in Kauai, the girls were little. And I still wore a bikini... What a gorgeous place. Hmm, that might have been our last real vacation, too. Just went to a weekend wedding, if that counts, and I managed to squeeze in some writing time. I can't imagine not writing for a whole week. What would I do with myself?

Brenda Whiteside said...

And even if your husband hammers you that you don't know how to relax and you give in and pretend you're taking the time off...I do a lot of writing in my head. Good thing he doesn't read minds! Oh man, Dukes on Sunday (ref Jimmy Buffett). What a treat!

Vonnie Davis said...

I stopped writing while we were in Paris the last time, although I took lots of pics of the area I want to set a story...sometime. When we got back home, it took me months to get back into the swing of writing every day. Never again! Now when we vacation, I write and do promo just not as excessively as when we're home.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I'm like you, Jannine and Vonnie...I keep writing when I'm on vacation. My husband is a late sleeper, so I get lots of writing done in the a.m. Brenda, I wish I could write like you do...in my head... but I can't do it. You are soooo lucky!

Big agreement on getting ideas from the vacation setting. Part of vacation is scouring for new plots and characters!

andreadowning.com said...

Rolynn, you're very disciplined to write on such lovely vacations. I remember being on one lush Caribbean isle and yearning to be at my computer. At the moment I'm at my place in WY with the specific intent of WRITING, though I will get out and about to see the parks--but it's that getting out and about that takes more discipline than the quiet writing looking out at the mountains.

Alison Henderson said...

Ooh, I love Duke's! Of course, I love everything about Kauai. I have never, however, written while I was on vacation there--or anywhere else. When on vacation, I've always devoted my attention to my family. Chalk it up to "working mother guilt", or something. Since I retired, OG and I haven't traveled except to visit our daughter in Chicago. We already live in paradise, and travel has become such a pain in the patoot. However, one of these days we'll get the urge again, and I'm sure I won't write on that trip, either. Lazy writer, lazy writer, bad bad bad.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Alison, what a Mom you are! I've got a vacation with family coming up, a reunion, and I think I won't get much writing done at that event...it's dawn to midnight fun! When we're not working 9-5 jobs, vacations are kind of like a new setting with a little outing per day...that's what our vacations are nowadays. We take it easy and are not in the least frenetic on vacation. So Alison, time to take a low-key fun trip!

Alicia Dean said...

Wow, sounds like an awesome vacation. I would love to travel there some day! The pic you posted is amazing!!! I try to write a little, even when on vacation, or at least, my brain is in writing mode, gathering little tidbits for books from the scenery, the people, etc, even if I don't put anything down on paper, which I try to do. Unfortunately, I take too many breaks from my writing in my real life, mainly by doing other tasks, such as editing, the day job, etc. I MUST get in the habit of writing daily...that's my goal. Thanks for an enjoyable post!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Now I feel left out. Never been but would love to go. That and Alaska. Soon I hope. Push out a scene in the afternoon after a glass of wine. Have to try that too. But back to your point. I do try to write some on vacation. Like Vonnie, if I don't it's nearly impossible to get back in the groove. What a lovely place to be, warm temps and all. As far as the sun, as a four time skin cancer survivor, I can relate. Small price to pay.

Angela Adams said...

I may not be writing, but I'm always observing and note taking. Thanks for the post.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Alicia, you must go to Kauai! This is a lush, tropical place, so you can't even think negatively about the clouds and the rain...especially because it's usually 70-80 degrees WHEN IT'S RAINING. I know. Amazing. So the hair gets frizzy...all of it feels so...so...primordial! But this is the Princeville-North-aspect of Kauai...where Jurassic Park scenes were shot. Go there for two weeks so you can see the ranges of the weather, hike the botanical gardens, etc.

Alison knows...it's unbelievable!

Margo, WINE WORKS! Just saying. And the skin thing. I've been SPFing for decades. As soon as I read the reports, I knew what I had to do. I'm glad you survived the ding-dang disease!

Angela, my friends (even new acquaintances!) all know they're bound to be in my books. They seem not to care; actually, they seem kinda smug about it! Keep conjuring!

Leah St. James said...

I'm feeling left out, too! I've never been farther west than Iowa (where my oldest, closet friend moved) where I'll be spending a few days at the end of the month to attend her daughter's wedding. I'm definitely bringing my laptop and plan to write and try to stay somewhat connected. It won't be Kauai, but it'll be away from my daily grind, and with loved ones I rarely get to see...I'll take it! (And I'm putting Kauai AND Alaska on my bucket list.)

Diane Burton said...

Went to Kaui (and 3 other islands) before I was married. Have been trying to get back ever since. Don't know about Duke's though. I'd planned to write on the cruise last month. With no internet service, I didn't even bother to take the computer out of the drawer. I did observe, made mental notes, and took pictures for a new story. One regret: I didn't talk to the senior officers about how they handle a dead passenger. Wish I'd plucked up the courage.

Ashantay said...

I regularly take vacations from writing. By that I mean, sitting at the computer, entering words on the screen. I find that writing 2-3 books per year is my creative limit. However, I never take a break from squirreling away ideas and impressions. Can't seem to stop that! Enjoyed your post - thanks for sharing pictures!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Leah, the vacations I enjoy the most are with friends and family...you're bound to have a great time at the wedding!

Diane, you'll see huge changers in all the islands, except for the Big Island. We have time shares on both Maui and Kauai, but our fav. is Kauai, Princeville. I hope you get to go, soon.

Ashantay, I produced two books last year; will try to get two out this year as well. But I must agree with several of you... we have to get out and see people/things to get the juices flowing...and vacations work for that! Yahoo! Double purpose!

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