Posted in Guest Posts, Writing

Travel Like a Writer

Guest bloggers visit my website twice a month on Tuesday and Thursday. If you would like to be part of this, feel free to check out the Be A Guest Blogger page.

This week’s guest post is brought to you by Tina, which she discusses writing and travelling. Thanks, Tina!

Being a writer is more than a hobby or a job: it’s a personality trait. You can take a holiday from being an accountant or a veterinary doctor (though, living with the latter, I’ve witnessed emergency phone calls at noon on Sunday and am well-familiar with neighbors asking for medical advice anywhere and anytime), but you can’t stop being a writer. Not for a minute. As writers, we turn every moment of our lives into a story, in one way or another. There’s no such thing as an activity entirely unrelated to your writing career.

Yet vacations are not only possible for a writer, they’re encouraged!

With that in mind, I have for you a few tips on how to make the most of your travels and vacations when you are a writer.

1) Don’t set word count goals. Not even if you otherwise write every day. You’re unlikely to write consistently during your trip and it would be a shame to put pressure on yourself instead of enjoying your holiday. Unless you travel for a living, don’t make writing during this time your priority.

2) Pay attention to your experiences instead. Sometimes it can be tempting to focus on what comes next on your itinerary – your next stop, your next meal, the souvenir you want for your mother. Try to pay attention to the moment you are living in instead. Enjoy the sense of wonder, name the smells and the tastes, notice the little details of your surroundings. You never know when you’ll want to use these moments in your writing so be sure to not just live through them but to live through them as a writer.

3) Listen to people’s stories. Whether it’s your cab driver talking about his family or your tour guide relaying a story from the history of the place, listen to it and store it away for the future. It may be unwise to steal these stories in their entirety – they might not be yours to tell – but you can borrow elements of them to sparkle an idea.

4) Carry a notebook with you everywhere – even if you don’t use it for writing paragraphs of fiction, you never know when you’ll want to jot down an idea. Even if you prefer to write on your computer, or your phone, or your tablet, a paper notebook has one advantage: it never runs out of batteries. I personally always carry a small one I can fit into the side-pocket of my handbag or backpack. Keep it in a waterproof bag along with at least two writing utensils.

5) Keep a travel journal. Do you remember when I told you to pay attention to such things as scents and tastes? Capture them in your travel journal in as much detail as you can manage in a sentence or two. They’ll serve to remind you of your trip, but you may a month or a year later rediscover them as an idea for your next masterpiece.

But most importantly: expand your horizons. Travelling allows us not only to experience, albeit superficially and with further research recommended, other ways of life. And even more significantly, it makes us realize that what we consider normal is just one of many possible variants and that’s a very important knowledge for a writer.

Many thanks to Rachel for making it possible to share these tips with you. If you’d like to read more from me, visit me on my blog or on Tumblr.

Tina

An aspiring writer based in Slovakia, the mod behind All of the Prompts and a blogger and a book reviewer on All These Prompts, Tina made it her mission in life to cure the Writer’s Block for good, in everyone including herself. She makes up and collects writing prompts but she also writes fantasy tales, mysteries, and the occasional romance. The love of her life are YA novels.

All of the Prompts (prompt blog): http://alloftheprompts.tumblr.com/
All These Prompts (writing tips and book reviews): https://alloftheseprompts.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alloftheprompts
Booklr: http://allthebooksfortina.tumblr.com/

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

7 thoughts on “Travel Like a Writer

    1. I don’t travel often, so when I go somewhere I usually bring one of my current notebooks. I’ll take pictures to use as prompts later or get scene ideas, but that’s about it.

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