The Working/Writing Vacation: Increased Productivity or Too Much Multitasking?

Posted by Arthur Gutch
Published On Dec 18, 2014

Most successful writers have one thing in common: they work all the time. Some bestselling authors write 365 days a year, no matter what. This is great for productivity, but what about the rest of the family? You may be right in the middle of writing the best work of your life, but if your significant other and kids want to go on vacation, they won't want to leave you behind. It's time to compromise. Writing_Vacation

A working or writing  vacation can combine the best of both worlds, or the worst, depending on how you prepare and work it. If you take advantage of down times to get some writing done, you can produce a surprising number of words without disappointing family members who want you to join in activities. The key is in how you use your time.

Outline Your Work

Writers break into two groups -- planners and pantsers. Even if you're the most adamant pantser, this is one time you're going to need an outline. Every bit of work you do before leaving on vacation is time you can free up for other activities later. Decide how much work you want to do each day. Write a short paragraph describing each chapter, and figure out how many chapters you want to write every time you sit down. You won't need to spend hours sitting at the keyboard figuring out what comes next, you'll already know.

Your Writing Environment

Sitting down with your keyboard on a sugar sand beach might be a self published author's dream, but admit it: you're not going to get much work done that way. Just like at home, you need a space where you can work without distractions and interruptions. As soon as you get to your condo or hotel room, designate one area as your working space, and work out what everyone else is going to do while you're at the keyboard. Set down the rules at the start and you won't have to negotiate later.

Set a Schedule... And Keep It

You've probably written long enough to know when your most productive time of the day is. Some writers have an energy kick first thing in the morning. Others work best after dinner. Since your best work time is when you'll produce the most words in the least amount of time, it's more efficient to work then and then only. Decide how many hours you're going to devote to writing each day. Don't let anyone distract you with invitations to the beach or promises of tasty meals. Sit down and write your designated hours, and when you're done, be totally done. Take off and enjoy your vacation just as if you never spent the morning writing. After all, you'll have the rest of the day to have fun and enjoy time with your family. Don't give your writing another thought until the next day, when you do it all over again.

Have a Great Holiday! Keep the Faith and may the Force be with You!