Sun, sand, surf, sunblock and snarlers on the barbie are regular features of the Kiwi summer holiday. But what about writing? I’m a great believer in harnessing some of that holiday magic to write or brainstorm.
We are often at our most creative when we are enjoying some downtime. And while we might be tempted to simply zone out during those lazy, hazy summer days once the Christmas and New Year madness is over (and zoning out is important too) I think the holidays also provide the perfect opportunity to put pen to paper, even if it is for just a few minutes each day.
I’m sure, like me, you have a pile of holiday reads stacked up, but instead of always reaching for your book (as you sink back on your sun lounger, pina colada in hand!) why not grab a notebook or your laptop, and see what you can create?
Perhaps you have a story idea which has been on the backburner for ages, or you’re finally ready to dust off that piece of writing languishing half-finished in your laptop or drawer? Maybe you want to write your life story, or the story of a family member or friend?
Need a story idea to get you started? Your holiday itself can be great writing fodder. Observing new sights, sounds and people, and having new experiences can all spark your imagination. You could come up with a short story, or even a non-fiction account of what happened, which would be great practise for memoir and life story writing.
During the holidays I’m planning to make a start on a rhyming children’s book, which has been in my head for over 20 years. I’m looking forward to giving myself some time to be creative and to play.
I’d love to hear about the writing projects you would like to make a start on these holidays. Please jump over to the Jo Bailey Author Facebook page and join the conversation.
Here are a few reasons why I think the holidays are a great time to write, and some tips to keep you on track with your project
- If you are travelling to your holiday destination by train, bus or plane, why not make the most of this time to write, or plan your holiday writing project?
- Without the distractions of work and home, your observation skills will be sharper, and you’re bound to get lots of inspiration from people watching or simply letting your mind wander while you’re in relaxed holiday mode. Don’t forget to have a notebook with you at all times to jot down what you experienced, saw (or heard!)
- If non-fiction is your thing, you could consider using some of that precious holiday time to write some of your own stories, or maybe even interview family members for a family history project if you are all together. If you are writing about another non-fiction subject, maybe you could squeeze in some reading and research?
- Perhaps you are feeling a little burnt out and don’t have the inclination to write over the holidays – but the ideas are still flowing? Why not do some brainstorming instead? Write an outline for a fiction or non-fiction project you’re keen to tackle and set yourself some writing goals for the coming year to help you achieve it.
- If you are on holiday with others, try to carve out some ‘you’ time, where you can be alone to concentrate and focus. You could even ask your travelling companions to support you by giving you the space you need. Being alone in a new environment, whether this be the beach, mountains, a bach, a hotel, or a cafe, could help to get your creative juices flowing.
- Make the best use of the time you have. It may not be a lot, but any time is better than none. You can always get up a little earlier in the morning or stay up a bit later once everyone else has gone to bed. And if you get any writing done at all, you’re sure to come back from your holiday fired up and ready to continue on.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And happy writing of course!