It was really hard for me to go on vacation last week and leave work at home. Usually, I carry my laptop, so I can blog — like I did at the Death Salon in LA last fall. Or I bring a book I’m working on to edit, like I did when Mart and I went on retreat to Gilchrist last August.
This time I left the computer at home. I’m waiting for The Dangerous Type to come back from the editor, so while I have some unfinished books I could be working on, nothing is pressing. I haven’t wanted to get engrossed in any large writing projects, since I could be pulled away at any moment. Rather than give up on the idea of work altogether, I made a list of blog posts I could research or write while we were traveling.
Of course, before we left, I scrambled around to write a week’s worth of Tumblr posts and get them all scheduled to go up like clockwork. I wrote and scheduled the posts that appeared here last week. I meant to write a Cemetery of the Week entry to go up on 4/9, but I ran out of time before we left.
Once we arrived in DC, I only managed to write and upload one blog post from the hotel room: the Weekly Morbid. It took forever to find all the links and copy them into WordPress on my iPhone. The whole process was frustrating and time-consuming and did not encourage me to attempt the much more complicated COTW format. In fact, by last Wednesday, I was coming down with Mason’s cold and couldn’t even manage my phone well enough to post a place-holding “here’s a reprint” post.
The upside of all of this is that the vacation was much more like a true vacation than I’d planned. I did have some working time in the mornings, while Mason and our daughter Sorrell slept in, but I spent those hours reading books on my kindle app, catching up on Pinterest, twittering, and reading Facebook. I didn’t bring — or buy — a booklight, so I couldn’t even write in my notebook in the darkened hotel rooms.
In the evenings, while my daughter watched the Disney channel, I read travel magazines and graveyard books, researching markets and new cemetery columns. To be honest, it was work, but work of the relaxing and entertaining kind.
In the end, I did much less writing that I would have in the old days, when Mason and I traveled with no electronics at all. Back then, I wrote pages and pages of notes and observations, analyses and histories. We even hung out in cafes so I could write.
This trip, I was much more content to let the experiences flow over me. I still researched Rock Creek Cemetery (albeit after we visited). I drafted what I think will be my next Scoutie Girl column about Sorrell’s love of the flight simulator at the National Air and Space Museum. I drafted a long blog post about my writing schedule.
I don’t have much work to show for a 10-day vacation. To my surprise, I’m okay with that. Maybe it’s good to ease off now and then.
What do you think? Do you check your email when you’re on vacation?