Writing on vacation

It’s Labor Day weekend in America, right?

(I’m originally from the US, but I forget these things – the holiday only really dawned on me late this week, when I was wondering why there were so many Americans in Athens, and then I was listening to a podcast, and they mentioned it, and I thought, “Ah-ha!” But actually it may not be the reason there are so many Americans in Athens at all.)

Anyway, it’s Labor Day weekend, so everyone’s schedule is probably all up in the air. I’m writing to you from the end of my vacation in Greece – we’ve been here a bit over a week, and it’s been sort of a whirlwind. Sure, it’s a lazy whirlwind mainly composed of lots of hours of silent reading on the beach, or slow shuffling walks along dusty paths to the next pebbly beach, or six-hour marathons of The Good Wife, but it’s a whirlwind nonetheless.



On one hand, I’m happy because I have done some good writing here, and some thinking about my draft. And, on the other hand, I always think I have more time than I do, or that I will be more disciplined than I am.

Especially on holiday. I tell myself: Look at all that time! Whole entire days, and all I’m doing is going to the beach, which is totally a great place to work. I even take my laptop and notebook to the beach (and actually did some work):

And yet, the real truth is that writing on holiday is like writing all the rest of the time: if I don’t get up and work, I am not that likely to make up the time later. Turns out just sitting in your seat and doing the work is… well, really the only way it gets done.

All of that is not to say that I feel guilty. I don’t think I should or do – it’s pointless, it wastes energy, and it doesn’t change what was or wasn’t done. It’s just a sort of note, a placeholder for my future self. Maybe I can come back here and read it before my next holiday, and then make some realistic writing goals or timelines.

What about you? How are your holidays going? Do you get work done, or do you use it as a way to really switch off?

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