How to Write While on a Vacation
Ideas on how to keep it going especially during holidays when it is tough to dedicate enough time
I have never been able to write or workout while I am on vacation. Not because I am tuned out, or those grey cells aren’t working. It’s not even because I want to do full justice to the people around me, make most of my time in that place, and so the routine activities take a backseat. What I figured is I am pre-conditioned to think that I shall write in a certain place or in a certain time which in my case is my Home or Library.
So while on vacations or when I am pre-occupied with something in life, writing would assume a back seat, but then I feel guilty about not being able to write. So this time, I decided I shall continue writing.
I didn’t write the last weekend because I was flying and the weekend prior because we were moving houses. There is always going to be something or other that isn’t routine and not writing in those times will make me dislike that intervenes with my passion for writing.
Why is it essential to write on vacation?
There is a particular flow.
And not writing, unintentionally disrupts the flow — people who workout can understand this better. You have to make time, no matter what. And create a discipline to sustain this over the long term.
It isn’t as difficult as we think. For example, our flight was 16 hours long and barring 6 hours of various flight-related formalities I could have utilised the remaining 10 to write a few articles. But unfortunately, I didn’t.
Now, the theory is much easier than in practice. In my example, I was sleep-deprived the night prior and was too sleepy to write anything — So ll cut some slack for myself as you need to be in a mental state where you could write peacefully. There were 3 YouTube videos which I watched and some Medium articles that I read. There is always time if you want to make time.
Just depends on the attitude, what matters most and how badly you want it
Maybe I want to, and then I am just too distracted with other things . Oh, I want to organise my keep, what about my photos library — should I instead archive those old duplicate photos? What about this new magazine I bought — should I read that or let me first check what’s the latest content on the in-flight entertainment that they have. Seriously I would instead do anything than touch that article. I don’t understand why that happens — I thought it was procrastination and to overcome it. I have written about Procrastination a lot in my articles, and I know it isn’t because I write when I am at home.
Then I thought it’s probably the emotions I am undergoing and being in the right state of mind to be able to write.
And finally, I think it’s the discipline. A self-imposed discipline to write each day, every day. You may ask why do you need to force yourself to do something you love — what an antithesis, right? No, I think we all the love the idea of being famous, that green notification on our phone, the amount that flashes in your bank account but we don’t always love the process.
Love writing more than anything — it will give back multiple times
When we start, there is an absolute newness that sparks creativity. But as soon as that freshness fades, you begin to take it as a task — a mundane task that you need to carry out but no longer want to. Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere undermining the passion and the burning rage for this pet project of mine. I think of my articles all the time; I click on those stats more than I check my social media. I read on how to grow on Medium — I won’t be able to do all that without being committed to it. It’s just this discipline of writing daily that I lack and I wish to walk at my own pace.
However, the world is moving fast, and if I have to sustain, I ought to sometimes show up without the motivation to write. Write at times to keep moving forward even if I don’t feel like it. Just do it. Just the way you turn up at the office on Monday each week no matter how excited or bored you are. Keep it going even if it’s this one small step in the right direction.
If you can’t write, here’s what you can do
1. Follow others — It’s easy and simple
So while I didn’t write for those 2.5 weeks, I have diligently followed a 100 people on Medium each day, and that did wonders to my follower base and driving traffic to some of my existing articles. I earned some of the coffee money from those articles, and I get that much-needed motivation when people highlight parts of my article, they comment, share it on Twitter and follow you back.
I gained all that and much more honestly. Now when recently one of my articles got curated, this follower base helped me immensely in getting a lot of views and fans. So one thing leads to another, and that motivated me further.
2. Read articles that would help you with your writing
So I have read a lot of articles on writing, and they all have a lot of ideas on how you can do better — here are a few of my top ones
a) 10 Strategies to Go Viral on Any Platform — by Todd Brison, It is an absolutely brilliant article. He gives some handy pro tips on marketing your content. If you are a newbie writer, you ought to shorten your learning curve following the stalwarts in that field
b) I Will Teach You How To Make Your First $10,000 From Writing — by Tim Denning I like the writing style by Tim — he packs a lot of content, so you get the head and tail about that topic in one article itself
c)16 tricks to turn your Medium drafts into beautiful looking stories — by The Startup, I learnt about kicker, SEO description, Pexels for stock images and many such tips
These are just a handful, but there is an ocean of advice on writing, writing better and mastering these tricks.
3. Follow someone’s life story
What I mean is pick up your favourite Medium author and follow their journey — check out their profile on Linkedin, their back story, how did they grow, their writing style, the publications they publish. Oh there is so much to learn from each one of these influencers
4. Engage with the community
So comment on other people’s posts, share some of their excerpts on Twitter, to other social media. In my experience, not many use this trick, but it is something that would help the author a lot, so encourage you to do it
5. Note down those excellent thoughts
Travel provides umpteen opportunities for an artist to exploit their ideas and thoughts. Every time I come across new people and new experiences, new stories pop up in my mind. I have more than 100 drafts at any given moment. I might not expand on each one of them, but it helps in remembering my exact thoughts and ideas I had at those times. It’s raw, and that’s what readers are looking for in your writing
In short, keep it going no matter what. Especially at times when you are at your absolute worst, you should keep going. You may not have the motivation for it. Still, the discipline would steer you in the right direction and before you realise that unexpected jump in your stats, the unprecedented rise in your followers and those little appreciative comments would soon come your way. It would not just motivate you to create more content but also set the ball rolling.