Friday, August 31, 2012

When You're A Writer, Vacations Must Wait

My husband has a stressful, overwhelming job. He regularly works 10-12 hour days. So when we go on vacation, I HOUND him to cut off all contact with work.  It doesn't always happen.  No, the interruptions aren't long, but he really needs the mental time off.  So I hound him some more.

The shoe was on the other foot this year when we went to the beach.  I'd slaved to pre-write two guest blog posts so I could take the week off (well, aside from finishing my beach caper book. But that counted as fun. And what better place to write it than at the beach?)

And then, sitting with my feet buried in the sand while dolphin-spotting, I got an email.  From RT Book Reviews.They'd just reviewed my latest book in their September issue, so I was flummoxed.  Turned out they wanted me to do a feature.  A Feature!!!!  And they wanted it in three days.

Yes, I had my computer.  No, I did not have Internet, except on my phone and by driving up to a bookstore cafe on Fenwick Island. My powers of concentration were also in hibernation from liberal quantities of sun, sand, chips and wine. Not to mention the TOTAL hypocracy of telling my husband to watch TV without me while I worked.

But I said yes.  Because it was a big honor just to be asked.  And if I'd said no, they might never ask again.  Free, awesome publicity for my new book. It would engender good relations with RT. This opportunity literally dropped into my lap, and only a fool would ignore it. My hubby watched a soccer game, I cranked out 600 words, and we went right back to doing...well, blissful amounts of nothing.

Point to the story?  Writers don't have 9-5 jobs with 2 weeks vacation and sick days. You can't blow off a scheduled blog appearance because you have the flu.  And most importantly, you have to snatch at every opportunity that comes your way.  Take your smart phone with you even on vacation.  You never know when unexpected goodness will flood your inbox.


  1. I can one up you - I've got a very demanding day job that requires 10 - 12 hours a day AND I'm a writer! Imagine the hounding my wife does to me. :)

    Fortunately she's also very understanding, at least when it comes to the writing.

  2. But I have to say, there's something wrong with this picture. That business is frequently done where everyone needs something in three days, or less, this is not normal or healthy for anybody.