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!
This blog is part of #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, a monthly event featuring resources for authors. Each month, we share our writing tips. To follow other authors or join, visit RaimeyGallant or follow the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop hashtag on Twitter.
It sounds like you are enjoying your time Cheryl. Writing on a trip is difficult, but I think it depends on who is with you. I will get up early to take advantage of quiet time, but if my mother happens to be around, it doesn’t work out that way as she always gets up when she hears my foot steps 🙂
All great ideas. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Anna from elements of emaginette
Writing on the go can be tough; the idea of setting a new routine is interesting, think I’ll give it a go! Thanks for the advice!
I did try! I was on schedule to do most of what you suggested–and then I lost my laptop on a plane. That crushed me. My son (who I was traveling with) had a Chromebook which he broke. I gave up writing and read. Sigh.
Jacqui, I can’t imagine losing my laptop! How horrible. And a broken Chromebook on the same trip! The fates were against you. I hope the book was worth the loss.
Erika, I know what you mean. My husband is an early riser and he’s on this trip. It’s 24/7 spouse togetherness, which neither one of us is used to. Plus, we’ve both had our Facebook accounts hacked, so there’s all that drama.
I love this post. I will be traveling next week and will be using these tips. Thankfully, my friend I’m visiting is also a creative so I will have plenty of writing time among all our activities. Thank you for such an insightful post. <3
Usually the only writing I try to get done while traveling is writing articles or blog posts. I’m too distracted to work on my novels and I don’t mind the break. I also find it’s a good time to catch up on resources like all the great blogs and writing sites found online.
What a fabulous post. As it happens, I’m researching my next book while traveling right now. NYC has been very hard on my feet the last two days. 🙂
Sometimes a change of scenery will unblock those unseen creative barriers.
Have a blast!