I’m on vacation right now and am contemplating the quandry of being able to write while on vacation. You see, I have this romantic (and therefore, unrealistic) vision that modern technology allows me to WORK while on vacation. Technically, it does. But the reality is quite different.
Being on vacation is all about being in new places, meeting new people, doing new things, being out of “routine”. All these things stimulate my thinking and produce new thoughts and ideas, new perspectives, new feelings, all things I want to write about. So yeah, I’m stimulated, motivated, energizes, and in the right frame of mind to produce. I have time, a relaxed spirit, and modern technology makes it possible to do it anywhere.
It’s the being out of routine that makes the work component so difficult.
I am a morning person, so I do my best thinking and creative work in the quiet hours of early sunshine when everyone else is still sleeping. So yes, I CAN write while on vacation. The difference, however, is that I can’t really WORK on vacation. You see, work is different from the creative and expressive writing that I do.
I brought my laptop; I brought my thumb drives, my folders full of research and papers, and my list of deadlines. I brought everything I need to be prepared to carry on and do my work. I am flexible and easy going, so I can technically write anywhere. HOWEVER, I have to face the reality that “work” and “vacation” are simply two words that cannot be forced into the same time and space. Work is based on deadlines and deadlines cause pressure. Pressure on vacation?! I don’t think so! This is just plain crazy! Work requires that I spread out my papers and I can’t really do that on the beach. Work requires that I fit into specific guidelines and adhere to the rules and demands of others. I can’t really do that when I’m a guest in someone else’s house and fitting into the whims of vacation mode.
Writing impressions, capturing images, contemplating on paper, these things are very possible on vacation and modern technology makes it all a bit easier, but WORK? What was I thinking?!
I’m thinking now that I have been confusing my passion with my work for way too long. Because both involve writing, I have been making the mistake of considering them one and the same. This trip has served to draw a line between the writing I do for others and the writing I do for myself.
My new resolve is to recognize this line of separation and respect the time and space that each deserves. It isn’t fair to try and do work while on vacation: it isn’t fair to me and it isn’t fair to those in my company.
Though some work may happen spontaneously while on vacation, I declare publically now and forever more that I will never again take a work agenda with me on vacation!