Writing While on Vacation

Meghan Miller is a senior at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) studying English Liberal Arts and is also pursuing a double-minor in Writing and Media Studies. She is the President and Editor-In-Chief of UNC’s Literary and Arts Magazine, The Crucible. When Meghan is not in class or running a meeting for The Crucible, she works at The UPS Store where she sneakily reads and writes in the back room. In her free time, Meghan enjoys editing friend’s papers, exploring the outdoors, reading and writing, cooking, and playing with her dog. Meghan is passionate about the written word and wants it to be a part of her everyday life. As an intern at TBL, Meghan is very excited to learn about the editing and publishing world. She looks forward to being an avid contributor to TBL in as many ways possible.

Writing While On Vacation

by Meghan Miller

Vacation is supposed to be a time of relaxation and time away from work. When people go on vacation or travel, the last thing they want to think about is checking email or what is going on at the office. Writers often think differently, though. Vacation for writers is often a time to pick up that pen and create a masterpiece—or at least get some writing practice in. However, there are a lot of writers who have difficulty motivating themselves or finding time to write while on vacation.

Recently, I went on a family vacation with my parents to California. We traveled to places such as Monterey Bay, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Napa Valley, Muir Woods, and San Francisco. Having never been to these places before, we had a lot to explore. We went whale watching in Monterey Bay and saw humpback whales, dolphins, and sea lions. In Napa Valley we toured the Robert Mondavi Winery and bought fancy wine. We walked among the giant redwoods of Muir Woods. San Francisco was a day filled with exploring Fisherman’s Wharf, a World War II Liberty ship, and much more. With all of these things planned, it was difficult to find time to keep up with my writing.

But vacation is one of the best times to write! Being in a new place, your senses are heightened, you’re excited, and there are new things all around you. As an aspiring nature writer, my trip to California was exactly what my writing needed. Seeing sea life, giant trees, and grapes growing on rolling, hazy hills was phenomenal. Even if you aren’t into writing about nature, there is so much inspiration around you when you travel somewhere new. You just have to find time to write about it!

Here are a 3 simple tips that helped me write and stay motivated to write during my vacation. Hopefully they can help you too!

  1. Write on the plane there and back

Being confined to your seat for several hours on a plane is the perfect time to write. On the way to your destination, write about what you expect from your trip. Where are you going? Have you been here before? What are you most excited for? On your way back from the trip, write about if your expectations were met. Was it as wonderful as you had hoped? What was the highlight?

  1. Bring a journal with you on your excursions

Whether you carry a journal in your back pack or a little one in your pocket, make sure it is with you at all times. Don’t tell yourself you will remember every detail. You won’t. Jot down everything you are seeing, feeling, smelling, etc. Even if they are quick notes that you write down on a short bus ride or a long description that you write while sitting under a tree, just write something!

  1. Reflect in your hotel room (or wherever you are staying)

At the end of the day, even though you are exhausted from a day well-spent, you have to make time to write. Even if only for ten minutes, set aside time to reflect on your days occurrences. Don’t worry about writing a masterpiece write now, the point is simply to get all of your ideas on paper. You will be glad you did this because when you get home and you want to write about your experience, you won’t kick yourself for forgetting that stellar idea inspired during your travels.

Happy travels and writing!

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