One of the best perks you get from working as a writer is the ability to work from anywhere.
The flip side is that if you’re working as a writer, you may be tempted to work from EVERYWHERE.
Ahhh the work-cation. Strange combo pack bearing the tantalizing promise of getting it done while you get away from it all. I picture myself sitting by the pool and cranking out voluminous amounts of relaxation-boosted verbiage… while achieving the perfect golden tan. Then taking the afternoon off to go on an adventure, having dinner, working a bit more if I feel like it in the late evening, then sleeping in the next morning.
I can see it so vividly. Maybe because essentially that’s what I did last week. Minus the afternoon adventures (because it was ungodly hot, and day after day we ran into scheduling snafus). OK, and it rained a lot, so the tan didn’t quite work out. Plus if you don’t have overhead cover, your computer screen will have major glare issues. Oh yes, and I didn’t get nearly as much done as I’d hoped to complete.
So, does work-cation work?
It can… if you have realistic expectations for both the work part and the vacation part of your plan.
If you don’t (and I didn’t), you’ll probably find yourself frustrated and harried about how you’re not getting it all done, AND you’ll miss the mark of total relaxation during the hours you’re not working.
After doing this for so many years, you’d think I’d have this down! It’s a lesson that needs repeating, apparently. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- True vacations are the best. To do that, it’s best to plan to be unplugged the whole time. (OK, or maybe allow just for checking email once or twice a day.) Let your clients and anyone else who might go hunting for you know you’ll be off the grid and will only check in sporadically. This way they don’t feel abandoned, and you don’t feel compelled to run your business as usual while you’re away.
- Work-cation can work well. You may want to approach it as just a change in your work location, with some extra fun thrown in each day. Or you could aim for working half-days (you may want to alert your clients as in #1). Make sure you keep this reduced capacity in mind as you plan your projects for the week. I’m no Math genius, but try as I might, I can’t figure out how to get 8 hours worth of writing done in 4 hours’ time.
- Work-cation is ideal for getting “other” writing projects done. If you’ve been working on a book or website of your own, or creating marketing materials for your business, this can be a great time to get it done. Power it out, and reward yourself with some free time as you make progress.
Hey, if you’re working as a writer (or want to be) and are headed off to a vacation, why not bring a delightful little book along? (hehe… insert shameless self-promotion here)