All Things Writing

Writing while on vacation? Yes, you should.

May 08, 2021 Bryan the Writer Season 2 Episode 13
All Things Writing
Writing while on vacation? Yes, you should.
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All Things Writing
Writing while on vacation? Yes, you should.
May 08, 2021 Season 2 Episode 13
Bryan the Writer

You’re ready to go. You have your swim trunks packed, enough T-shirts to ensure you only have to wear them two days in a row. You recounted your underwear twice. And you’ve made sure you have access to your best socks. You remember to throw in your toothbrush, and off you go. Ready for a wonderful vacation. Or so you thought.

Vacations don’t have to be a complete drain in your productivity. There are a few things you can do while you’re on vacation to ensure that you still are productive, while enjoying yourself. Let’s discuss three different types of productivity you can achieve on vacation.

1) Passive writing activities
2) Actually writing first drafts
3) The other little nitpicky things that we all have to do is writers which sometimes get pushed aside.

So what do I mean by passive writing activity? We don’t often think about it, but reading is a type of passive writing activity. Laying on the beach is something that everybody can do to enjoy themselves and unwind. And, it’s not uncommon that people doing such an activity have a look at their side. With a little bit of preparation, you can do the same thing. I like to bring our copy of a book with me when I’m doing something like hanging out at the beach. This will make sure you have something in hand that you can put down in an instant and not worry about it.

You can also do some actual writing work.

Work on something new. You don’t even have to bring you computer with you for this. For example, you can write *gasp* long hand on paper. I do this sometimes when I am stuck waiting for something or someone. As a matter of fact, a good portion of my first book was written long hand then transcribed after the fact. This is a great way to work on new short stories you had been interested in doing.

You can also work on things that you have been putting off for a while.

Sitting around the pool is a great time to work on some correspondence, search for new shows to attend, maybe check in with the fans a bit. You don’t even need to haul that big old laptop around. You can use your phone for a lot of things with the voice to text feature your phone likely already has.

Build it into your schedule where you are going to have some time to sit by yourself and write. Don’t just pass on this because you are on vacation. Bring something along with you to do, even if it is sitting down and sketching out a short story you have been thinking about for a while now. Don’t skimp on this!

With some creative planning, that vacation time away form the day job can be creative worktime for you! 

See you next time!


Support the show (http://paypal.me/BryanNowak)

Show Notes Transcript

You’re ready to go. You have your swim trunks packed, enough T-shirts to ensure you only have to wear them two days in a row. You recounted your underwear twice. And you’ve made sure you have access to your best socks. You remember to throw in your toothbrush, and off you go. Ready for a wonderful vacation. Or so you thought.

Vacations don’t have to be a complete drain in your productivity. There are a few things you can do while you’re on vacation to ensure that you still are productive, while enjoying yourself. Let’s discuss three different types of productivity you can achieve on vacation.

1) Passive writing activities
2) Actually writing first drafts
3) The other little nitpicky things that we all have to do is writers which sometimes get pushed aside.

So what do I mean by passive writing activity? We don’t often think about it, but reading is a type of passive writing activity. Laying on the beach is something that everybody can do to enjoy themselves and unwind. And, it’s not uncommon that people doing such an activity have a look at their side. With a little bit of preparation, you can do the same thing. I like to bring our copy of a book with me when I’m doing something like hanging out at the beach. This will make sure you have something in hand that you can put down in an instant and not worry about it.

You can also do some actual writing work.

Work on something new. You don’t even have to bring you computer with you for this. For example, you can write *gasp* long hand on paper. I do this sometimes when I am stuck waiting for something or someone. As a matter of fact, a good portion of my first book was written long hand then transcribed after the fact. This is a great way to work on new short stories you had been interested in doing.

You can also work on things that you have been putting off for a while.

Sitting around the pool is a great time to work on some correspondence, search for new shows to attend, maybe check in with the fans a bit. You don’t even need to haul that big old laptop around. You can use your phone for a lot of things with the voice to text feature your phone likely already has.

Build it into your schedule where you are going to have some time to sit by yourself and write. Don’t just pass on this because you are on vacation. Bring something along with you to do, even if it is sitting down and sketching out a short story you have been thinking about for a while now. Don’t skimp on this!

With some creative planning, that vacation time away form the day job can be creative worktime for you! 

See you next time!


Support the show (http://paypal.me/BryanNowak)

Good day to you, wherever you are checking in from. Welcome to the next episode of All Things Writing.

Welcome to May. I don’t know about the rest of you but those of us in the northern hemisphere have had our thoughts recently turned to the important topic of what to do on our summer vacations. I like to relax, not necessarily go anywhere, but just relax. Here at the Nowak household, I tend to have way more vacation time than my wife does. So I think small staycations where I can catch up on some writing work. Earlier this year, I spent a little time with my brother Williamsburg. The weather was gorgeous. In June, I intend to head to Indiana for a weekend of relaxation at a much beloved.

Recently, I had an occasion to go on a family trip. As you can imagine there was a little bit of excitement as well as a little bit of trepidation mixed in. It did get me thinking that it was probably time to do a quick show reminding everybody about the importance of planning your writing work while you’re out of town.

You may ask yourself, my dear writers, why the trepidation? It’s actually very simple. Time on the road means time away from writing. I know it sounds cliché, but we all need a break from time to time. What about those times when the break isn’t really part of what you normally wanted to do? What if the vacation is not really vacation you wanted? What about the old adage that we need to write no matter what?

I love my time away from home, don’t get me wrong. However, I still need to get some of my writing work done. And being away from home is absolutely no reason to skate on my responsibilities. I have editing, first drafts to write, I need to work on my cover art, not to mention I need to continue producing excellent podcast content for all of you.

Before we get into all that, why don’t we check into who are our top listeners to all things right for the last 10 days. Continuing in that top spot is our good friends in Atlanta Georgia, filling in that second place is San Antonio Texas, and then in third our friends in Columbus Ohio. Interestingly enough I have a connection to all three of those cities. As I mentioned before, I desperately want to get back to Atlanta. My brother was there recently and had a fantastic time. I also have spent a little time in San Antonio Texas. Very much enjoyed the Riverwalk when I was there. And I have some good friends and family that live in the area of Columbus.

But what’s really interesting about the statistics is that this week it looks like San Antonio is surging ahead. Granted, Atlanta is in no danger of being shaken out a first place. However, Atlanta needs to keep a close eye on San Antonio.

So, you’re ready to go. You have your swim trunks packed, enough T-shirts to ensure you only have to wear them two days in a row. You recounted your underwear twice. And you’ve made sure you have access to your best socks. You remember to throw in your toothbrush, and off you go. Ready for a wonderful vacation. Or so you thought.

Vacations don’t have to be a complete drain in your productivity. There are a few things you can do while you’re on vacation to ensure that you still are productive, while enjoying yourself. Let’s discuss three different types of productivity you can achieve on vacation.

The first thing I want to discuss is what I consider to be passive writing activity. These are things that you’re doing which are writing related, but aren’t necessarily things like writing first drafts. The second thing I want to discuss is actually writing first drafts. The last thing I want to talk about is the other little nitpicky things that we all have to do is writers which sometimes get pushed aside.

So what do I mean by passive writing activity? We don’t often think about it, but reading is a type of passive writing activity. Laying on the beach is something that everybody can do to enjoy themselves and unwind. And, it’s not uncommon that people doing such an activity have a look at their side. With a little bit of preparation, you can do the same thing. I like to bring our copy books with me when I’m doing something like hanging out at the beach. This will make sure you have something in hand that you can put down in an instant and not worry about it. The advantage over in the rear is that when you set it down, enough story about somebody stealing. Nobody’s gonna steal our copybook.

But I want you to broaden your horizons little bit. This is the perfect opportunity to read up on books about grammar, the writing industry as a whole, and maybe a nonfiction title which revolved around topics like thinking, and human perception.

You want a good laugh and learn a little? Read the book, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”, by Lynne Truss. It’s lighthearted enough to ensure you have a good time reading it while you’re laying there on the beach, and informative enough that you can hand the receipt for the book to your tax accountant with a straight face. 

That is in the only book out there which fits into this category. You could also read the time-honored favorite, “The Elements of Style”, by William Strunk. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, why on earth would I want to read “The Elements of Style” while I’m enjoying myself on the beach?

I know, it seems like kind of an odd suggestion. But hear me out. The elements style is not a terribly long book. If you’re looking for a few things to throw into that kitbag as you head out to the beach, it’s not a bad choice.

There are plenty of other books you can read while you are out and about in the world which are writing related. One that comes to mind is Stephen King’s book, “On Writing”. But there are many others out there.

Okay, so the idea that you can read while you are on vacation is not much of a surprise to anyone. However, you can also do some actual writing work.

Let’s say you are knee deep in your first draft edits of you latest masterpiece when your spouse decides they need to get out of town for a bit. What to do next? Yes, you can bring that big old laptop with you and write on the road, but there are other options. If you are like me, working on edits while you are out in the world is difficult. I need the rigidity of my office to really do work on edits. But we may not have that.

Fine, then work on something new. You don’t even have to bring you computer with you for this. For example, you can write *gasp* long hand on paper. I do this sometimes when I am stuck waiting for something or someone. As a matter of fact, a good portion of my first book was written long hand then transcribed after the fact. This is a great way to work on new short stories you had been interested in doing.

You can also make use of the thing which I often accuse of robbing our kids of any creativity in the modern era. You can use your handy phone to record some things and then come back later and have the computer transcribe them for you. There are plenty of amazing programs out there which will help you do this.

You can also use a recorder, as I am now, to get some things down on paper. Right now I am using a high end recorder to make this podcast. You can most certainly sit down and talk through some of the things you always wanted to in front of any kind of recorder you like and then either have it transcribed using a transcription service or some auto transcription software.

And, I don’t know about you, but as much as I love being on vacation, it seems like there is a fine line between enough time with people and too much. I give you permission to use your writing time as a fabulous excuse to head off into a quiet corner and work for a bit. 

There is no reason I can come up with that you can’t run off and just do some work on your own. But again, as I have said in the past, you may need to establish a few ground rules to ensure you can work unfettered in the corner of a rented hotel while the spouse takes the kids to the pool. Although, I will say that spending a little time by the pool and working can sometimes feed my imagination.

So yes, you can catch up on that reading, and spend some time working on full manuscripts. But, if you are the person who can tolerate it, you can also pull out that laptop and work on things that you have been putting off for a while.

Sitting around the pool is a great time to work on some correspondence, search for new shows to attend, maybe check in with the fans a bit. You don’t even need to haul that big old laptop around. You can use your phone for a lot of things with the voice to text feature your phone likely already has.

Build it into your schedule where you are going to have some time to sit by yourself and write. Don’t just pass on this because you are on vacation. Bring something along with you to do, even if it is sitting down and sketching out a short story you have been thinking about for a while now. Don’t skimp on this!

And yes, I know most of you already know at least part of what I am saying. So, why am I saying it? I am not telling you anything you already know. Summer is one of those times that some people will slack off and then we get all excited when November rolls around and participate in NanoWriMo.

I never participate in NanoWriMo. Not that I have anything against it, but I am always so busy anyway that I don’t need to push myself for month. I am already pushing myself every day, including the summer months when we are encouraged to, by almost every sunscreen lotion out there, to take a nap on the beach.

I am getting ready, as I write this, to take another trip for a month. Part of my packing list, in addition to my computer, is a recorder, my headphones, my writing notebook, a bunch of nice pens, and some ideas bobbling around in my head.

And yes, these are on my packing list like my dress pants, non-holey socks, underwear that still has play in the elastic, and deodorant so I can be a functional member of society.

With that terrifying though, I want to thank you for joining me on this pre-summer episode of all things writing. I am so glad you joined us today and if you like these shows, please hit the like button so you can follow me wherever you get your podcasts from.

Also, consider making a contribution to the show. No matter the amount, any money really helps keep the lights on around here. Plus, I just bought some new recording equipment to use when I am on the road, and the loan sharks I borrowed money from are threatening to break my arms if I don’t pay them back. 

Sheesh, that is the last time I borrow money from my mom.

I am planning some great content for you all. I am working on getting some interviews lined up for you. Until then, this is Bryan the Writer, signing off.