To Write or Not to Write by Steph Beth Nickel

That is the question.

This month we’ve been discussing writing while on vacation. Do you take a break or use the slower pace to do some writing without day-to-day distractions?

Seek Accountability

July is Camp NaNoWriMo month, and while I joined, I’m not sure I’m going to make my 20,000-word goal—but maybe.

I’ve been a participant in A Round of Words in 80 Days for years now. I don’t always meet my goals, but it gives me something to aim for and I enjoy the sense of community.

Steal Away for a Writer’s Retreat

Back in April, the members of my writers’ group and I went away for a few days on a writers’ retreat. Between us, we got over 40,000 words written. I was able to get over 11,000 written myself. If I want to write “while on vacation,” I should do this on a regular basis, maybe every six weeks or so.

I’m thinking of choosing a spot to write, a local park or coffee shop perhaps, and devoting time exclusively to writing. Two to three hours Saturday afternoon and then again on Sunday afternoon could make a big difference to my word count.

Combine Options 1 & 2

I have an exercise buddy. How about a writing buddy? If you wouldn’t be too distracted to write, why not get together for the day every 4-6 weeks and write? Have a little friendly competition. See who can write more words in a given timeframe. Exchange a portion of your work and do some beta reading for one another. Bring a skills development book or two and read an inspiration portion aloud to get the creative juices flowing or to wrap up the session.

And Speaking of Reading …

In my mind, vacation (or staycation) equals reading a novel—or a stack of novels. And as is the case for many writers, reading can fire my imagination and make me want to put fingers to keyboard.

When I’m looking for a quick, “easy” read, I like to pick up a YA novel. With all the “reality” that bombards us day-by-day, it’s a nice change.

Make a Change

They say it’s as good as a rest.

I’m taking a fiction writing course. My goal is to complete one module a week. When I set aside time to do so, it’s like a vacation. It’s out of the ordinary but still productive.

Take a Break as Needed

I will be going away overnight with my hubby for our 34th anniversary in August. I won’t be writing then. My hubby, daughter, and I will be spending a couple of days in Grand Bend at the end of the summer. I won’t likely get any writing done then either. I have the feeling I won’t get much reading done either. And that’s perfectly okay.

How about you? Do you write while on vacation? Do you read? Or do you just kick back and relax?

Brenda and Stephanie 2Steph Beth Nickel is the coauthor of Paralympian Deborah L. Willows’ memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. They are currently working on a follow-up book, Still Living Beyond My Circumstances. Among other things, Steph is a freelance writer and editor. You can connect with her at … on her Facebook author page … or on Twitter (Photo Credit of Steph and the fun-loving Brenda J. Wood: Belinda Burston)


Writing Tips , , , , , Permalink

1 comment

  1. Pam Mytroen says:

    I’m liking your ideas, especially the fiction writing course and your small writer’s retreats. Can you tell me more about your 80 Days group?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *