Writing While Traveling

Last week I discussed my choice to write 365 days in a row. And if you’ve done your blog homework, you know I like to travel– from visiting my mom to weddings to field trips–I like to get away. I’ve managed to continue my writing streak even while traveling and having a blast doing so.

Even if you aren’t challenging yourself to write everyday, learning how to reserve minutes for your precious craft is still an important skill set. Here are a handful of things I’ve learned so far.

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1. Leave the Laptop at Home

Unless you are traveling for business or are in the throes of a deadline, leave your laptop at home. Not only am I a big fan of traveling light (and I mean, zero shit) but most trips you take are not about your writing. They’re about lives changing and moments to be shared. Save the serious writer face for home and pack a journal. It’s old school, discreet, and makes you look kind of cute and intriguing.

2. Plan to Free Write or Print Your Edits in Advance

You won’t have the time or concentration needed to put great editing to work. Plan to free write and use your travels to help generate ideas. Or, if you have minor/grammar edits to make, print and pack your doc in advance.

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3. Write While People Shower

I learned on my trip to Austin that my short hair dramatically cuts down on my “getting ready” time. This is when I got all of my good writing time done that particular weekend. I would shower, get ready quickly, and then write on the couch while the other girls blew out their long, long locks. Writing all dolled-up was a nice change of pace, too.

4. Try Writing in the AM, not PM

Even if it is a total change from when you are the most creative, try writing in the morning before any of your travel mates wake, or before your day needs to start. Losing 30 minutes of sleep will bother you much less than having to write after going out or surfing for 4 hours. Do it when you are fresh, so you can rest and have a blast later.

It’s important to always keep your pen moving even while in the air/water/a taxi cab. And as always, advocate for yourself! Even if you are travelling with a group, your time is always your time. Protect it when you can. Just don’t whip your book of half written poems out during a wedding ceremony.

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