I haven't had a "real" vacation in about 12 years. After college it was just about not having the money to go (nonprofit work at the time paid far from well). Then I was going through the startup phase in my business (PR firm them), so there simply wasn't time. Then it was client issues -- when you're on retainer as a consultant, you have to be there when a client calls or has a problem (and when I do take a vacation, believe me, it'll be completely unplugged).
As a fulltime freelance writer, I almost feel like vacations should be easier. After all I can take the laptop with me anywhere and work if I really want to (although like I said, I probably wouldn't). It's also easier to clear up writing projects early than consulting projects which are more open-ended. Yet I still haven't taken a good long break.
I was originally planning on taking my normal Christmas break starting December 24th, and then leaving for England for two weeks shortly before the New Year. It doesn't look like it's going to happen though. It keeps getting pushed back. Why? Because work is good.
It seems to be a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. Either there's not much work coming in and you can't afford to travel, or you can finally afford your dream vacation but you're so swamped with work that you can't go. This is one of the drawbacks of taking on regular monthly contracts instead of one-off projects (although I wouldn't trade them for the world, and would never discourage other writers from pursuing them).
There has to be a way to make it work, right? A little bit of planning maybe? Trying to get clients' orders in early so the work can be done before leaving? This is one of those issues I've reallly struggled with over the years, but fortunately there has been a lot of good advice for freelance writers about vacationing lately. So today I'd like to share some of that with you. Several colleagues have given tips on taking the breaks we all deserve from time to time or what we can do on those vacations. Here's what they had to say:
- Tips for Taking a Vacation as a Freelance Writer - by Chris Bibey
- I've Been on Vacation! And I Want You to go, Too - by Jenn Escalona
- Ideas for Writers Who Travel, But Who Don't Write About Traveling - by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen