Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I Did During My Summer Vacation

Right now, I am in the middle of my vacation.  Like many people, I get two weeks of vacation every year.  That's it.  So, by necessity, I have to be very careful about how I spend this time so that I maximize my fun, the completion of long overdue personal errands, and relaxation.

How do I do all of these things?

Take a Staycation

I've been having 'staycations' since before there was a term for it.

By and large, I don't enjoy traveling as I find it stressful and uncomfortable.  Yes, I like seeing new places and experiencing different cultures but I also know myself.  I'm not interested in spending twelve days seeing ten different countries.  And I don't like 'roughing it', whether that's camping or in a budget hotel.

It boils down to this: to travel properly, I have to spend money.  A good bit of money.  And, right now, that's not in my budget.

Do Nothing

For the first few days of my vacation, I did very little.  I'm talking no productivity, no errands completed -- nothing.  I met up with some friends, I hung out with my family, I surfed the net, read and caught up on some television shows I'd missed.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Like most people, I have job that stresses me out on occasion.  My vacation is primarily a vacation away from my day job.  I'm not adept at switching back and forth between the two so I need a buffer period.  A piece of time where I can let the job slip away into the back of my mind (this means no checking work email or thinking about the latest irritation from my coworkers) and get into a more relaxed mindset.

Do Something

After the first few days of destressing, I am ready to get to work.  No, I don't go back to checking work email, other than a brief foray to make sure the office is still standing.  I start writing.

The main goal of my vacation is to write.  At any given time, I have several different projects (read: manuscripts) on the go so I hit the one I'm most in the mood to tackle.  After those few days of downtime, I'm really raring to go.  The time off from both work and writing has made me eager to write, which is part of the benefit of taking the few days off.

With my mind far from work and refreshed, I'm capable of producing some of my best writing.

Every day, once I've passed my creative limit, I switch to another writing-related task.  Either I write some posts for my blog to store away for when my day job gets too hectic, or I research some potential agents or publishers for my work, or I just spend time on Twitter connecting to other writers.

Because this is my vacation, I don't put too much pressure on myself.  Yes, I have a daily or weekly goal I want to reach for my writing (usually, a certain number of pages I want to have written).  Yes, I have a target for the number of queries I send out.  But if I don't make it, I don't stress about it.  After all, this is my vacation.

Oh, and that picture at the top of this post, I'm there -- in my head.

Photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at freedigitalphotos.net

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