Summer vacation season is here!
I always intend to write while I travel. It’s not easy to fit writing time into the over-scheduled itineraries I can’t seem to stop planning. Still, sometimes I manage to stick to a writing schedule. When I do, here’s what works for me:
1. I keep my tools simple and light.
I carry a notebook and pen. (Maybe I’m paranoid, but I make sure to buy pens that won’t leak or explode in flight.) If you love gadgets, try writing on a tablet computer. Now that I have a super light netbook, I’ll be carrying it in my purse along with my quart-sized bag of three ounce toiletries.
2. I schedule writing time every day.
No matter how hard I try to sleep in, I wake up ridiculously early in the morning. The good news is that I can usually squeeze my writing time in before my family or travel companions get up. If you’re a normal sleeper and have to steal away for your writing time, you might try a local cafe or library. Do an Internet search for possible writing locations before you leave home.
3. During a writing session, I try to reflect on where I am.
I might not need a description of a small town main street, a European village or a quiet lake for my current project, but I may for a future story. Writing about a place helps me remember and appreciate it long after the trip is over. The sounds, the smells, the breeze, the bugs… things that don’t show up in my photos.
4. I remind myself that I’m on vacation.
I know I won’t be able to keep my normal schedule when I’m traveling. Even if I only write little every day, I stay in touch with my characters or at least with my writing brain. When I get back home, it’s much easier to resettle into my routine.
When I’m away, I see things from a different point of view. A change of scenery gives me a new perspective on my characters and my novel. The break in my routine recharges my creative batteries. I think the quality the travel experience brings to my writing is worth the reduction in quantity.
Do you write when you travel? What works for you?