Google the phrase “travel writer,” and you’ll get over half a billion results. You’ll find job opportunities, tips for travel writing, and how-tos. The same is true of travel bloggers.
But you, in the strictest sense, are not a travel writer or blogger. You are a writer and blogger who sometimes travels. Maybe this summer you’ve taken a vacation, for instance.
Vacation travel alone can make life (and writing) challenging to manage. It can be hard to keep up with your most essential habits—exercise, eating right, and, of course, writing your manuscript and blog posts. Some writers give up writing altogether when traveling. But that can lead to less writing—if any—when they return home.
You don’t want that to become you…
How do you avoid breaking the writing habit? How do you make sure that when you sit down at the computer again when you return home, you’ll feel like you did when you left? Here are a few tips:
Resting? Then Rest Proactively
There’s nothing wrong with taking a vacation from your work—including your writing—with the goal of getting away and recharging. It can help reduce stress and give you an objective editorial eye when you return to your manuscript.
The key is not to let your rest become rest for resting’s sake. Just as you might take an “active” rest between reps in the gym, think of a vacation as a strategy to proactively rest yourself. Set a goal of returning to your work once you get back into the habit of daily life.
A rest can be tremendously beneficial—so long as it’s temporary. A rest that becomes a prolonged, unplanned writing sabbatical can kill your momentum and turn a project from a “must-do” into a “never-did.”
Writing On the Road
Of course, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you want to give up a simple pleasure like writing. Therefore, rather than resting from writing, your other option is to continue writing while traveling or on vacation. Here are a few tips for squeezing in work with play:
- Change your schedule. Maybe writing at a specific time of day worked for you on a weekday at the home office. When traveling, don’t feel guilty for adjusting your schedule. Don’t even feel guilty if you don’t quite meet your quota—just keep moving forward. Squeeze in 20 minutes at the end of the day or 15 first thing in the morning if need be. The key here is to focus on keeping the rust from forming.
- Use online cloud services. Dropbox, for example, allows you to easily sync your files across cloud-based storage. You won’t have to fret about losing a flash drive or a manuscript because if you bring your laptop with you, the files will be right where you left them. You even can access your files on new computers.
- No excuses. If you really want to stick to a schedule, then stick to it. No excuses. Didn’t want to lug your laptop or don’t have Internet access? No worries. Sit down with a pen and a pad and pick up where you remember leaving off. At the very least, you’ll have new content that you can use when you return home.
Writing while traveling can sometimes make the action feel like a chore. The real task, however, comes when you realize you’re out of the habit and have to force yourself to get in the habit again. There’s no reason you have to get out of your regular writing routine when you travel—and writing can be a pleasant endeavor even when on vacation. Whether you want to rest or keep up momentum, set a goal before you leave home, and stick to it. You’ll return to your desk feeling ready to continue writing.
How do you maintain your writing habit when you travel? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Dan Kenitz is a freelance writer and ghostwriter from Wisconsin who helps individuals and companies build their brands through valuable content. www.empirewriter.com