On Wednesdays the Wickeds weigh in on a specific topic. Wickeds, do your vacation plans differ now that you are a writer? Do secluded houses without internet hold more appeal? Does writing factor into your vacation plans? What is a writing vacation v. a vacation vacation? Is there such a thing as vacation when you are a writer?
Liz: I took my first actual vacation vacation in about five years this past February, thanks to Barb. When I visited Key West, I think the most writing I did was 100 words one morning before I decided it was much too nice a day for that. The time was much needed. That said, I don’t think we’re ever really, completely ON vacation. Even if we’re not putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) the stories are still working away in our brains. I think a little recharging helps fresh ideas rise to the surface. Of course, I’m a huge fan of our annual Wicked writing retreats!
Barb: Someone once said that being a writer is like agreeing to have homework for the rest of your life. Now that we’re no longer tethered to child care or day jobs, my husband and I often go away and just move our entire operation to another location–i.e. we’re still working, but in a different locale. That is one of the most fantastic things about the writing life. However, every once in a while we go on a “vacation, vacation,” not bringing any work. And at least once a year, I try to unplug completely, to neither write nor do any of the “business of writing,” and only use the electronics for finding my way somewhere or making dinner reservations.
Edith: Of course I love quiet writing vacations, either solo or with like-minded authors. I hadn’t taken a real vacation in a few years, so this March Hugh and I did a southern-swing driving vacation. We visited my older son in the DC area on our way to Hugh’s sister and her husband in North Carolina, and on the way back, too. We had a great time and I barely worked, only putting up a couple of blog posts. But that one week turned out to be the week the Boston Globe wanted to photoshoot the Wickeds, and I missed it. That week! And the article didn’t come out for another five weeks. I’m not sure if I dare take another real vacation. Maybe next time Oprah will come calling…
Sherry: I think vacations are different when you are a writer. You may not write but you are always absorbing things that may be incorporated into a story — a bit of conversation, the way something smells, the perfect place to discover a body. My husband and I left our home early one morning for a trip. It was still dark out and about five miles from our house we passed a truck pulled over on the side of the road by some woods. A man was standing by the back reaching into the truck bed. And of course I thought he was up to something sinister.
Jessie: I find getting out of my normal routine makes the creative juices flow better than usual so vacations inevitably turn into working vacations. Even when I am not sitting at a desk with my laptop in front of me I find myself reaching for a notebook and recording things I find intriguing. I don’t think I’d want it any other way!
Julie: Last summer I took a real vacation, and took a river cruise down the Danube. Even then, I spent time researching clocks, going to museums to look at clocks, and waiting until the hour to see what the clock tower did. As my friend Pat said, it is all novel material. Since I also have a day job, vacations are usually spent writing, or editing. Or both. But writing is what I love, and it can be done anywhere, so I am good with those choices.
Dear readers who are writers, how about you? Has vacation changed since the muse moved in? And readers who aren’t writers – do you get away, really away on vacations?