Working Vacation

What do you do on vacation?

Sit back? Relax? Go sight seeing? Visit old friends or older relatives? Maybe catch up on your reading?

I’m working.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If your intent is to publish, you need to approach writing as a job. It’s not a hobby to do whenever. It’s not something to attempt when the mood strikes. Both of those things are fine, as long as you understand that then it’s a hobby or something even a little less than a hobby. But if your goal, your intent, is to publish, you need to approach writing as a job – because it is.

This week I’ve been on vacation. I’m not at home in Kentucky. I’m nowhere near pursuing any ministry right now. A week of relaxation at my mother-in-law’s! (And yes – that really is a week of relaxation.)

And that means… I’m writing!

It’s kind of funny. My goal this week was to complete the outline for a set of novels I want to tackle. And man, did I tackle it! I worked my butt off. Hours every day away from my family so I can concentrate on plotting and character work. Does the plot plot appropriately here? Do the characters characterize the characteristic characteristics? Does the story story? So, yes. Lots of work!

That said, it’s very different work for me. I’m looking big picture and not creating directly, but preparing to create. So it’s not normal work, at the least! But yes, I worked my butt off.

Until Thursday.

And Thursday I basically took the day off. Why? Well, I overdid it. I stared at the screen Thursday morning and my brain went, “Nope!”

So I took Thursday mostly off. I played an extra few board games with the kids. I helped my wife with supper.

And then Friday… right back to it!

All that said, I still haven’t met my goal. That means these last few days of vacation will be more work. And yes, it is work. It’s forcing the brain to produce content.

But how glorious that I’m doing this work on vacation. I don’t have to double the energy drain on a ministry day! I’m setting up to be able to power through a few novels-worth of writing – at least in theory. We’ll see how that goes. I don’t typically write using outlines, but these novels are a touch more complex than I’m used to. The outline will help me keep all the details straight.

What that means is while I’m not doing “pure writing,” I’m doing the hard work of plot and character work so when I get home next week, I can hit the ground running. It’ll be a fun experiment to see if I can write faster with the outline. I’ll probably write about it later!

So, yes. I’m on vacation. I’m also working.

Do you keep writing when you go on vacation? If so, do you do different writing work than normal?

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