For much of last month, I was lucky enough to be on holiday with my family. I noticed a few necessary writerly quirks that may have been annoying to my brood. I’m sharing them here to see if anyone else can relate to my holiday experience.

Without further ado, here are my 10 insights into things writers do on holiday:

  1. Before they even leave the house, writers stress over taking the ‘right’ sized notebook and which books to take. I spent way too much time agonising over what books I should take to read and far too little time considering my clothing requirements.
  2. Writers delete their social media apps (almost). I doubt very much anyone ever deletes Goodreads. How on earth can you keep track of your reading and sneak in a few book reviews if you delete Goodreads from your phone?
  3. Writers may enthusiatically participate in a hike but when they get to the top of a mountain or a hill they may not take time to enjoy the vista. Like me, writers may perch on a rock, pull out their perfectly-sized notebooks and write down some terribly important observations usually nothing whatsoever to do with the hike or the view. After tramping partway up Mt Ruapheu, I was compelled to record revelations about my current protagonist and the backstory of a secondary character.
  4. Writers invariably like to visit libraries and track down obscure but brilliant bookstores when they travel. On the North Island of New Zealand I discovered McLeods Booksellers in Rotorua (first opened in 1896 and now houses a great selection of Maori books) and Browsers in Hamilton (a wonderful selection of quality second-hand books). You may find a few Jenna’s Truth bookmarks in Rotorua Library.
  5. Writers read. I read like a Trojan while away and I read everything from local newspapers to historical plaques, the books I lugged around with me and the books I found along the way.
  6. Writers are observant and nosy. Such traits mean writers strike up conversations with everyone and anyone. We want to know why that man became a light aircraft pilot or why Maori prisoners were logging forests and we absolutely have to know what the person at the next table is reading.
  7. Writers may have a tendency to overdramatise situations. When we hit turbulence during a flight, I was convinced the plane was going down. When a door suddenly slammed shut, I was worried there was an earthquake. I understand how infuriating I can be to travel with but luckily after almost 21 years of marriage my husband is used to my ways.
  8. Writers have to visit airport bookshops. Not necessarily to buy anything but to see if any of our friends’ books are being sold. If they are, we will whip out our phones and spend time taking attractive photos which we will then post onto our social media apps as soon as we have downloaded them again. Writers love helping to promote their friends’ books.
  9. Writers can be distracted and distant while away. It’s usually because they’re busy imagining the lives of all the people they see around them.
  10. Writers love to get home. Why? So they can get back to their desktops and their works-in-progress and because after a little time away, they’re renewed and reenergised and ready to get typing again.

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