Make Your Holidays Pay

Path up Mount Douglas in Victoria BC

Path up Mount Douglas in Victoria BC

For the last two and a half weeks, I have been away with my husband–at his conference, first, and then in British Columbia visiting our daughter, Beth Cougler Blom.  Beth wears two hats.  She coordinates and facilitates workshops for Volunteer Victoria, part-time, as well as running her own workshop facilitation and motivational speaking business with a “do what you love, love where you work” theme.  In a small way, I assisted Beth with a Social Media workshop she was facilitating, and wrote a guest post on the Volunteer Victoria site.  (You can find my post about Mandy Leith’s interesting presentation here.)

And while my husband did his conference things, coming and going, printing off his daily coloured update page for the participants, I sat at the other desk in the room and worked.  My first-floor room opened onto a lovely patio, overshadowed by a giant spruce.  The choice was to sit in the chairs there and reread “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” for my upcoming Algonkian Niagara Writers Conference or write at my computer in splendid isolation.  A dreamy few days.

Then in Victoria my husband worked in the dining room and I in the kitchen.  While the rest of the household was away, we enjoyed the quiet without telephones ringing, knocks at the door, or household jobs niggling, all of which we get at home.

I cake-walked from the point of being absolutely awed by the amount of work to do before my conference to feeling I actually would be able to finish it all and make a good showing.  A huge jump.  And I didn’t feel like I was working.  Trips to the grocery store, walks to get the morning paper, views of Mount Doug, and a couple of jaunts to sensational Sidney by the sea all brought variety and peaceful joy to our time in Victoria.  It was a holiday, but a working one.  Meeting  a Social Media guru, a magazine publisher and a formal journalist/writer-in-the-business (@glemonade) sitting next to me at the workshop really made my ‘holiday’ special.

Do you ever find a different venue helps your writing?  What are the advantages to picking up your laptop and parking it in a new spot?  Please tell us your experiences in the comments section.


5 thoughts on “Make Your Holidays Pay

  1. I loved Victoria when I visited back in 1981 and would love to go back one day. I don’t own a laptop, so I cannot move my computer to another location, but there have been times when I have just taken a pen and notebook and let the creative flow come. It would be wonderful to be where there are no phones ringing or other things to distract. I used to dog-sit out in the country and that was great, but unfortunately all 3 dogs are gone now. So I must be content at my desktop computer.


    • Writing with a pen. So long ago. Don’t think I could do it happily now as I love my keyboards but I’m glad others can. Do you ever think about how daunting revision must have been before computers?


      • When I think about the time before typewriters even, I wonder how an author managed to write the final edition let alone from first draft through all the stages to the final one. It must have been horrendous.

        I can’t write nearly as long as I used to and the longer I do write the harder it is to read. In fact at some point some words are almost illegible. When I first started to write, I could no more sit at a computer to do it that I could fly, but I have become very comfortable now with the computer and wouldn’t want to go back to doing it all that way. I don’t do much writing away from home anyway, so it’s not too bad. I usually only make a note of an idea to follow up on. I can handle that.


  2. We adored Canada when we travelled through it a few years ago and some of it reminded us of our own Scotland! I love taking one morning a week at my favourite Costa coffee cafe in a local mall, where I happily write with pen and paper – and seem to get a lot more written than when at home!


    • Thanks for that comment, Rosemary. I am continually amazed at how different we all are for a people who are all ‘human’. You remind me of the stories of the Harry Potter series author. Worked for J K Rowling, didn’t it?


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