Posted by Jennifer B. at The Writing Cocoon.
I did have great plans to write while I was traveling. When packing my carry-on, I made sure I had my laptop and its accoutrements; pen and paper; and my flash drive with my writing folders. It wasn’t for a lack of equipment or tools that I did not write a single word.
Nor was it for lack of a plan. I knew that the places I would be visiting wouldn’t allow me a lot of time alone to write. So, I concocted a rather simple plan: I would alternate between the local library and a nearby coffee shop. Both were within a few miles of my main port of call. But, despite my good intentions, I never made it to either place. The morning would slip by and it would be after noon before I’d realized that I’d missed my opportunity to write, yet again.
Even before I left my house, I knew that my plans might go awry. I’m not so naive. However, I figured that even if I didn’t write much while away, that I would certainly write while in transit. There was two-five hour bus rides, two-nine hour plane rides, and a “short” three-and-a-half hour flight between my two destinations. Wouldn’t you know it, for the first time ever, I slept soundly on all legs of travel.
Of course upon my return, there was the jet-lag to contend with. It is pretty damned hard to write a coherent sentence when you can’t keep your eyes open during daylight. I’ve slowly worked back to my pre-travel writing schedule, but I don’t like all the time I’ve missed.
Over at the AW Water Cooler, I read a post by someone in the same situation - someone who is enjoying a writing streak and about to be interrupted by travel. There was some good advice given there, some that I wish I had asked for before my trip.
I think that I was so wrapped up in the idea that I had to continue with my same writing schedule while traveling, that I closed myself off to other possibilities. Perhaps “flexibility” is a virtue a (successful) writer should possess. If I had gone with a notepad and pen and just set my goal to brainstorm for ten minutes each day, sketch a scene, or daydream about a favorite idea, then maybe I would have been more successful. Instead of seeing a break in my writing as a catastrophe to be averted, I could have used it as time to refuel my creativity.
So, with that in mind, I bought several new notepads and found a new favorite pen. I’m going to be traveling again in a few days. It shall be an experiment!