Vagabond Authors: Finding time to write!

For those of us who are compelled to write, it may seem that sitting down at our computer to hash out a few thousand words a day is an easy feat. However, anyone who feels the draw of the page can tell you, myself included, that no matter how beautifully you string together words, there are days where you find yourself struggling to complete even one sentence. Add into the mix the distractions of traveling to new and exciting destinations and suddenly the typical chaos of life at home seems like a cakewalk when finding time to write.

Travel ignites the creative fire within us. It tempts our senses with exotic perfumes and foreign sounds echo through the body, settling deep within the soul, becoming not only part of us but part of the stories we weave as well. With all the new ideas for scenes or poetry lines that begin to take shape, sometimes without warning, how do you find the time to write when you are traveling?

  1.  Plan Ahead

    • It is crucial that you take a look at your plans for a trip and ensure that you have some time each evening to jot down some thoughts for the day. Even when you aren’t traveling this is important. This isn’t “writing” in the classic sense. It isn’t to work on your latest project, or write for your blog. This is to clear your mind and to capture things about the day that may not be as fresh later.
      • Moments
      • Thoughts
      • Scents
      • Sounds
      • Information about sites you visited  (Katie is particularly diligent about this one! She uses a note taking app on her phone to keep a basic outline with facts or observations about sites we see, as well as a running document for her projects.)
  2. Don’t Over Schedule

    • It is tempting to try to cram as much as humanly possible into each day when you are traveling. Fight this urge! Over scheduling will not only cause stress as you try to stick to a tight time-frame at each site, but it will reduce the impact each location will have.
      • Pull out that map, locate the places you wish to visit on your journey and select the ones that are nearer to each other, allowing ample time at each site. (Take your notes, take photos…and breathe it all in!)
      • Allow your day to come to a close following a good dinner most nights. (Set aside a few days to grab a pint or check out the nightlife though!) Not only does this provide you with ample sleep, but it gives you the time to grab a hot shower, call home, wind down and WRITE!
  3. Take the Early Train

    • When taking a train to a new city, take the early train! Instead of taking an overnight train where you can sleep, use the daylight to see the countryside as well as write!20161030_103314-1
      • When we made our way between Edinburgh and Inverness, as well as the journey between Dublin and Galway, we used the several hour journeys for watching the beautiful countryside go by as we chatted, listened to music, read and got in some writing.
  4. Flash Drives are your BFF

    • Ok, so this really has nothing to do with finding the time to write while traveling. However, this is a valuable tip that I  found really helps me to stay organized. I have three flash drives that I keep with me at all times. 20180122_162003
      • I often travel with just my tablet, as it is smaller than my laptop and sometimes you have to cut weight, not just space. I have my completed work, photos (edited and raw images), current projects, notes and blog posts all saved on my laptop. However, technology fails us about as frequently as I trip over my own feet (a lot).
        • To avoid losing your valuable efforts, back up your files with an external hard drive which you leave at home!
        • Save all your current projects (writing) to a flash drive. Research notes, blog posts you are working on, scraps of scenes and dialogue, character outlines, story-boarding…All on one flash drive.
        • Save all completed work (writing) to a separate flash drive. Posted blogs, short stories, poems, novellas etc.
        • Save all photos on a separate flash drive. Edited and raw, in separate folders. 20180122_162143
    • When you are traveling, you can simply plug it into your tablet, or phone (with an adapter) to work on the current stuff, post completed work, move photos to be edited later and free up space, as well as save the most current version of your work to your laptop or work on it there.

Just like finding time to write when at home, it is not impossible to make the time when you are traveling. With a little planning and organization, you can drink in the experiences and continue with the forward momentum on your current projects.

“Keep your heart open, a suitcase packed and wander often, for the world is wide and adventure awaits.” ~ Emylee


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