Category Archives: Travel

Writing on Vacation

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?

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