We usually take self-catering holidays, often to places we have been to before. We know exactly what we can look forward to, whom we hope we’ll run into, to share a drink or a meal, and what we need to take in the way of clothes, shoes, swimwear. Add to that the fact that we can throw anything in the back of the car: a box of books, walking boots, weatherproof jackets and, for me, those essential companions, my laptop, notebook and pencil case.
The other ideal holiday location for a writer’s holiday is to go on a residential course, for example the ones run by the Arvon Foundation. These require minimum packing, shoes for walking in the glorious surroundings of the centres, beer and wine money and the lap top. Each centre has its own library so you are saved the weight of books, except that one for the train. Just to keep the record equitable, writers’ holidays can be found in the classified listings of the Society of Authors journal, https://www.societyofauthors.org/, The Writer Magazinehttps://www.writermag.com/, Mslexiahttps://mslexia.co.uk/ and many more publications.
However, once in a while, there is a third option for the perfect writer’s holiday. That is the get-away-from-it-all option. No laptop, poor internet access, possibly a planned schedule of visits and occupations, even talks but not about writing. I am about to leave for one of those holidays. I’ll be taking a couple of books, light reads – in my case two anthologies of short stories – yes, a note book, just in case, but with no intention of doing any real writing.
Before leaving for a holidayof this nature, there are always several writing matters to settle. I have submitted an article for the on-line readers and writers website BooksbyWomenhttp://booksbywomen.org/ which has been accepted (publication date to follow) my short story for the current call-for-submissions for Mslexia (see above) ready to go on Monday and the final – I hope – draft of a short story for The Fiction Deskhttps://www.thefictiondesk.com/ ready for a final polish on my return.
All I have to do now is pack … in one suitcase.