By Alissa Johnson
Life is full of ironies. Like starting a blog post on writing and travel while sitting in the airport, going on hour three of my delay.
But I've wanted to write about this topic for a while, and summer feels like the appropriate time. There are summer road trips, visits to the cabin, camping, and if you're not traveling, other travelers arriving at your door (especially if you live in the mountains). Talk about writing disruptions.
Writing and travel can require a little creativity—I've written in airports, on airplanes, in tents, in the back of the truck where we have a little bed set up, and probably some other whacky places I've forgotten.
So instead of sharing a story, I'm going to switch things up today and share five tips for mixing travel and writing. Have one of your own? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on the Facebook page.
#1. Think ahead.
Instead of waiting for your trip to start before you decide how and when to write, it can be helpful to plan in advance. Do you want to write? What's realistic given your plans? Is your laptop coming along, or do you want to bring a notebook? I find this helps me be more realistic about what I want to do, and that makes me more likely to follow through.
#2. Downsize your expectations.
There's this funny truth about travel and having house guests: beforehand, it feels really important to keep your current practices going, from exercise to yoga to writing. And then you get to wherever you're going and realize you're more interested in seeing the sights and spending time with your fellow travelers. It's okay to call it like you see it, and accept the fact that you'll write less.
#3. It's okay not to write.
Sometimes, you need a vacation from writing too. Or it doesn't fit into what you have planned. That's okay. Just consider leaving yourself a starting point for when you get home. Some notes, perhaps, about what you wanted to write next or a prompt or two.
#4. Sometimes what is more important than when
Instead of focusing on when you'll write, try having a game plan for what you want to write. I'm about to spend 10 days at my aunt's house, for example, and instead of planning when to write I just know that I want to go back to an essay I've been playing around with. Now when I have time to write, I can make the most of it instead of figuring out what to do.
#5. Stolen moments are the best moments.
There's nothing sweeter than finding yourself with a bit of time and actually using it. And travel, as I've been reminded, offers you stolen moments all the time, from airport delays to those mornings you happen to wake up before anyone else. Seize those moments, even if they're only 10 minutes. Writing has a way of leading to more writing, and the momentum you create will make you more likely to write again.
Truth be told, #5 is how I started writing today. This three-hour delay started as 20 minutes. So I pulled out my laptop to work on an article due to an editor this week. That led to writing up some plans for the Inspired Writer Studio, which in turn led to writing this blog post.
Heck, you don't have to wait for travel to see where 10 minutes leads you. Try it today.