I’m headed to Jamaica next week. Sun, sand, clear blue water, eighty-five degrees… jealous yet? I know. You’re throwing things at your computer screen. Calling me names. Wishing me lost luggage. But let me finish. I’m taking this vacation with my mother and two sisters. My sisters who are both thin and beautiful and my mother who would like me to be thin and beautiful and is disappointed on a regular basis that I am not. So this vacation is kind of a double edged sword. The good news is I found a magical bathing suit that sucks me in all over the place and a cover up that will make it impossible to tell what lies beneath.
Beyond my dread of wearing a bathing suit though, I was thinking as I was packing about what books to bring. Reading on the beach is my favorite pastime. Currently I still have two RITA books that need to be judged. Plus Hunger Games. Plus the new Laura Kinsale. But I also have a number of research books that I purchased regarding life in Victoria England as I begin research for my next book.
Books on Scotland Yard, Domestic Servitude, Sexual Morays and Entertainment all in or around the time period I want to set my book. The kind of books you find in a college bookstore. The kind that require work to read. One the one hand, I’m telling myself this is a vacation. I’m supposed to relax and enjoy myself and my skinny beautiful family. On the other hand to have five days off from my day job and not work on my writing career seems foolish and wasteful.
Normally when I go to the beach I have no problem bringing my Dana and writing away. Writing is fun and enjoyable when I’m starting a new story. No stress yet, no deadlines looming. That’s a no brainer. But the research part is work. And when you’re cramming to meet a deadline writing becomes work.
So the question is… do you write/work on vacation? Do you look at it as a fun activity like reading? Or do you see it as an intrusion on your vacation time? For those with family do they get annoyed if you bring your work along with you or do they understand that concentrated writing could be what you need to take your book to the next level?