Writing While Traveling
Have a Goal
The first step to writing while traveling is to have a goal. Do you want to accomplish a certain word count? Outline a new novel? Finish a story? Whatever your goal, break it down into actionable, realistic steps. Be honest. You may need to adjust your goals based on your circumstances. Once you do meet a goal, reward yourself. Chocolate comes to mind.
A close second step to take is to organize the work you need to complete. Don’t be caught without a password to a site you’ll need to access. Have a means of backing up your work. Carry pen and paper to catch that brilliant idea or use an electronic note-taking app like Evernote. Over organize for what you’ll need on your trip.
Create a Schedule
Create a schedule and honor it. It may change day-to-day depending on your circumstances. Be flexible. This month, I’m two thousand miles away from home visiting family. My day includes babysitting, sightseeing, and looking for bargains in thrift stores. One day I’ll have a half hour free. The next, two hours. Find pockets of time to get words down. I’m writing this as I watch a five-year-old tap dance.
Create a New, Temporary Routine.
At home, I sit in a big, white armchair with a certain playlist putting me in the mood for brilliance. I write after breakfast or, oddly, at 3 p.m. I’m sure you have your own routine, but a change in schedule means a change in your routine. You may drive all day in a car (as we did from Arizona to Georgia), or sit in an airport terminal, or attending meetings. You might not have time or opportunity to use your old routine. Instead, create a new one. A moment of meditation. Noise canceling headphones. Create a small ritual that triggers your brain that it’s writing time.
Communicate Your Goals to Your Tribe.
Be realistic in your expectations, but let your people know you’ll need certain times to write. You might be surprised at how accommodating they are. Or oblivious. I wouldn’t notice if you disappeared at 5 a.m. because I’m in bed for two more hours.
Be Alert to Your Surroundings.
I’m not glossing over the difficulties of writing while traveling. The internet may crash. Someone may hack your Facebook account (my adventure yesterday). With the right preparation and realistic expectations, your writing shouldn’t suffer.
Or take a break and read a book. I’m have fun scouring thrift stores for the complete Lucas Davenport series by John Sanderson.
Happy writing everyone!
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