My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Writing On Vacation (Personal Update)

I keep waiting for Wakka to tell me Sin is attacking.
Image description: thatched huts and a wooden walkway
on a shallow ocean water.
One of the most common bits of advice I dispense at the slightest provocation here at Writing About Writing is that it is a great idea for a writer to write every day. Of course there are lots of caveats to this advice oft forgotten when one came to this blog to have a good time, but are feeling so attacked right now. 

Still, I scream into the void. It keeps me from being bored.

I'm particularly liberal with the "Write Daily" mantra to those writers who indicate that their endgame is to "make it," those who have some bellwether of success that includes paid bills and legions of fans, or those who flood* my inbox with demands for how I've cobbled together such a fantastic kingdom of wealth.

*for values of "flood" that include at least one message of some kind every week or so

Among the questions I get the most is if I really write every day. Am I a big ol' hypocrite who does not practice what he preaches? I'm not exactly 100% clear on how these folks imagine this blog gets updated so frequently if I'm shirking on the down-low, but maybe they imagine I spend a lot of time plunger sucking writing from others' brains Dalek-style or writing weeks worth of posts in fifteen minutes on my phone during my Monday morning crap.

Many queries are at least a little more reasonable. They want to know how I write every day when things get tough. When I'm out of town. When I'm sick. When shit goes down–shit of the variety that life periodically and invariably downshits.

So this week, while I'm wrapping up a long weekend in Denver to visit OG, I thought I'd bring you a glimpse into my daily writing fare. Because keeping myself in the writing habit does not always mean four to six hours in front of my Work In Progress every single day. But it also doesn't mean I let my game go rusty just because I'm not in a perfect situation to write.

Thursday (flight to Denver @ 7pm): I had to get packed and clean the house so I ran a guest post here on W.A.W.  I did about fifteen minutes on a post that might run this week (about Logan) and spent about 30 minutes crafting a ranty/political post on my personal Facebook page.

Friday: We went and saw the Denver Museum of Art's exhibit on Star Wars costumes (very cool, by the way). I wrote for about ten minutes on FB. Then I made a post (the Fortune Cookie post), which was a little less effort than a regular article post, but I still had to go back through some of my old posts and tailor some of the "wisdom" there to fortune cookie format. It took a little less than an hour, but my host was getting a touch impatient with me by the end.

Saturday: We had a very low key day Saturday–just watching a couple of movies and kind of shlubbing at extraordinary speed. I was off from the blog, so I twiddled for about a half an hour on my W.I.P. just to keep from rusting, and sent off a couple of emails that required more than my half-assed attention. The total time might have been 45 minutes.

Sunday: Had a day with a wee one on Sunday who wanted to "take me" to Casa Bonita. This is a dreadful chain Mexican restaurant that apparently thinks Taco Bell is way too easy on the ol' digestive tract, but has about a zillion psychic tractor beams that work specifically on young brain wavelengths. Cliff diving in the middle of the restaurant... Scary animatronic caves.... Skeeball.... It's a weird place. (Though I proved I still have mad Galaga skillz.) Anyway, I was able to do about a half an hour of writing split between some Facebook posts and the first half of this article.

Monday (flight home @ 5:15pm): Packed in our goodbyes and packing and last little lunch plans (along with one completely decadent nap) all before it was time to start heading airport-ward around three thirty. I didn't get any writing done before my flight. I thought I might on the plane, but it was pretty crowded, so I opted to just read a book instead. Once I had landed, BARTed, and walked home, I busted out my laptop and spent 45 minutes finishing this post.

So there you have it. 30-60 minutes a day, mostly on emails, Facebook, or half hearted writing, all of it just spent writing SOMETHING and trying to keep from losing whatever edge I sort of, kind of, maybe have and maintain that habit so that when I sit down tomorrow, instead of rusty, I'm still in the habit. This is pretty typical for me on vacation: whether I'm at Disneyland or sight seeing in Washington D.C., I still sequester a little bit of time to sit down and do some writing.

I absolutely take vacations. But not from writing.

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