Monday, April 07, 2008

Writing on vacation

Not a writing retreat, but a vacation or business trip. Do you find time to write? Or does it mess with your normal schedule so much that you can't manage to do it? Tomorrow I'm leaving for an anthropology conference in Ohio until Sunday. I've got my own room, which seems odd as I can't remember the last time I went away for a trip and had my own room. I don't know what I'm going to do without Eli or Alice to harass!

The way I figure it, since I don't know a soul at this conference, is I'll have oodles of time in the evenings after research presentations to write. Will that happen? Who knows. This hotel has free internet, so that could either hurt by distracting me, or help because it will keep me glued to my computer. I don't know if I'll be able to get into 'the zone' by not being in my environment. But sometimes that can be helpful. No pile of dishes or stack of laundry to distract me from writing.

There are also tools that can help people write in unsual places, like Alphasmarts. I've got one, but I can't find the %#^*$ cord. I refuse to type on that, just to retype it again because I can't upload it. Then there's the consideration of flights. A three hour flight might be long enough to justify pulling out the laptop, but will the seat be too cramped? How long will the evil battery last?

So tell me, do you write on vacations or business trips? Or do you use it as a time to reboot your creativity?


Paty Jager said...

Intereting topic, Lisa!

For me it depends. If we're driving, I always write while my husband drives unless the roads are curvey. Then I can't do anything but stare straight ahead. LOL

When I went to a conference while still working for the Extension office. I did take my computer along and spent the evenings in my room writing. When I go places with the dh- he doesn't mind if I sit at the table and write while he watched TV. But I can only do that if the show is somethind that doesn't keep drawing my attention.

My computer, while I love it for battery length, isn't small enough to pull out and work on while on the plane. But I can get a lot done while waiting in airports. So I guess you could say I can write just about anywhere.

Have fun at your conference and good luck finding the muse to write while you are there!

Paty Jager said...

Sorry for all the typos! My fingers are not working well this morning! Or my brain hasn't connected to my fingers or something! And I as usual didn't reread in my haste.

Alice Sharpe said...

Lisa -- how exciting! Have a wonderful trip.
The answer to your questions is yes. To both.

One of things about a conference of any sort is they unite people of like interests. You'll be around all sorts of folks from all over the place and it would be a shame to never do anything with them spur of the moment. Try to be open to spontaneity -- I say this from experience as for years I traveled to conferences alone and the best, most memorable times occurred "after hours" with near strangers. On the other hand, who knows what ideas will pop into your head as you sit there talking about bones and stuff? How could you not write?

As for writing on the airplane, this sounds as though it might be the opportunity to find out how long the evil battery does last! And can't you buy a new cord for the Alphasmart? I know they're a lot lighter than a lap top and you are limited in what else you can do on one. That would drive me nuts, but I'm better at ignoring stimulus (I say this as I pause a game of solitaire to answer your blog and check my mail... oh, self delusion, don't leave me now!)

Eli, pack your bag, we need to go to Ohio with Lisa.


Karen Duvall said...

Vacation? What's that? Oh, conferences. Okay, I gotcha. 8^)

I always take the puter with me, and I write in the hotel and at the airport. I don't write on the plane because the seats are way too cramped. If it wasn't for the seat in front tilting back, it might work.

Have fun in Ohio, Lisa!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ohio? I'm there. I might actually get something done OUT of my normal environment. LOL

To answer your question, Lisa. It depends on the vacation, who's there, etc. Unlike Alice (and you), I haven't been able to write at the RWA national convention. My brain just can't settle down enough to do that. I'm taking my laptop again this year, so maybe it'll be on different (I'll be on deadline then, so I'll HAVE to get something done that week.) When I'm with the family though, generally I can't write unless I've got peace and quiet. I did take the laptop to Black Butte and did write some when the kids napped, but I didn't get nearly as much done as I do at home. In the evenings I was so tired from entertaining them all day, I just wanted to crash. (At home they entertain themselves.)

The DH has already informed me I am NOT taking the laptop to Hawaii in August. As I was told "You'll have to have that first draft done by then because you're not working there." (grumble grumble...I'll take a notebook. LOLOL). Actually, my goal is to have that first draft done by then so I only have revisions to tackle after. At least that's the plan at this point...

Great blog! And I'll miss you while you're gone. Thank goodness for internet!!!

Genene Valleau said...

Oh, Lisa, sounds like a dream conference for you! As Alice said, have fun first and don't push the writing too much.

As far being able to work away from home, (as Karen said, what's a vacation? LOL!) many times that's easier than trying to work with all the distractions at home. Yep, younger dogs are the equivalent of younger kids on the distraction scale.

I don't have a laptop or an AlphaSmart, but have gotten lots of edits done at conferences. If it's a writers' conference, many times the workshops or people will trigger ideas for new stories or new directions for what I'm working on. It's like a direct line into creativity. And I still get lots of networking done!

Once again, Lisa, enjoy your conference!

Kendra said...

Lisa, sounds like fun. I love having a hotel room with lots of time to write. I used to go to a spa once a year before I started writing and I'd take 10 new books with me. I didn't care about the spa part--I just liked the time to myself!

I have a vacation at the end of the month. I'm taking my laptop for internet access, but I'm not going to write because I WILL have my first draft done!

My alpha smart uses a regular ole' USB cord. It's identical to the one I hook my printer to my laptop with. You should be able to find one for under 10 bucks.