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.


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):
All These Prompts (writing tips and book reviews):

Outline #1

Well, I started. I started the outlining. Did I finish my homework? Well, no. But I got all my October homework done for three out of five classes…the other two classes are assigned weekly unlike the other three classes that assigned the whole semester’s homework right at the beginning.

Anyway, I finished a good chunk of my homework so when I baby-sat last night, instead of doing homework when the kids went to bed, I began to do a little outlining. I started the outline for a novel idea I came up with a long time ago called Saving Each Other. I don’t know why I chose this novel to do first. I just looked at my really long list of novels and that was the one that jumped out at me. So I figured, why not?

I bought new notebooks the other day…they were on clearance for .99 cents, so I was in Heaven; especially because they’re rainbow animal print.

Gorgeous, yes? Of course.

Since I bought brand new notebooks that were dusty when I first picked them off the shelves, I thought I would put them to good use to get rid of the dust. Seriously, they were actually dusty when I found them…no wonder they were on clearance.

When the kids went to bed I began to outline this story. I outlined chapters one through seven so far. I did quite a bit…except that the plot line hasn’t moved much. But that’s okay — it’s an outline. I also noticed that there are some chapters that are really short and some are really long. I know that it doesn’t matter how long a chapter is and I also know that it doesn’t matter if one chapter is really long while the next is really short. I split them up depending on if I thought the last line was a good “cliff-hanger” to stop at. But…I think when I write the story for real, I might write it as one huge passage. Then when I edit it, I will split it up into chapters. If that goes well, I might do that for all my stories. But I’ll break it into chapters in the outline just as a little buffer so I know where I could break it up.

I’m coming up with so many different ways to write, it’s crazy. Then I can’t decide which way to go with. I already have the problem on figuring out what to write, so why do I need to add on this problem, as well? It’s nuts. But I guess I could have worse problems, so I’m not going to complain.

Here’s a problem, actually: NaNo. How many days away is it? I don’t know, I’m too lazy to count, but I know that it’s going to be here before we know it. I don’t know what I’m going to write for it. I have a feeling I’m going to end up writing Saving Each Other for it because I’m sure I’ll have the outline finished by November. I’m not sure which outline I’m going to write next, but if I finish that one before November, then I might write that story instead.

Saving Each Other is the first novel in a series. I know that the next outline I write will not be the outline to the sequel. I know this because if I write the outline, then write and edit the first novel, big changes might happen in which change something big in the sequel. Do you know what I mean? So we shall just have to wait and see what happens, I guess.

Well, I’m going to finish cleaning my turtle’s tank, take a shower, and then get some more writing done. It’s five o’clock in the afternoon (evening?) so we’ll see how this actually goes with me keeping this plan. 😉

Oh, and the summary for Saving Each Other will be posted soon.

What If?

I am not good at poetry. However, last semester, we had to write a freeverse poem and a formal poem. I thought I would post my formal one for feedback. I’ve always wanted to get better at poetry. So let me know what you think and I’ll post the other one soon!

What If?


What if we’re not all that different?
Yet we stay so ignorant
What if people didn’t die?
Yet we always say goodbye

What if animals rule?
And we’re just fools
What if money is useless?
But we’re all just ruthless?

What if life is a bunch of dreams?
What if nothing is as it seems?
What if we don’t belong?
What if everything we know is wrong?

So, I Wanted To Update This…

…But I Have Nothing Intelligent To Say…

So, in my last post I said I was going to try to get back into the swing of updating this thing. Well, here I am, keeping my word. Except, I have nothing to talk about. Would you like to know why I have nothing to talk about? Of course you don’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway: I have not gotten anything done this summer.

School starts a week from today and work starts a week from tomorrow. My schedule will consist of this:

Monday: School 7-11:45 ; Work 2-6
Tuesday: School 7-2:30 ; (Possibly) Babysit 3-5/6
Wednesday: School 7-11:45 ; Work 2-6
Thursday: School 7-10:15 ; Work 1:30-6
Friday: School 7-12:30 ; Work 1:30-6
*I am taking five classes this semester, so chances are the free time that I will have will be homework time.

There you have it. I officially am going to have no life starting next week. And as you can see from my lack of life starting next week…all of the things that I had planned on doing this summer will be delayed. I may be able to chip away at these things here and there, but I’m not going to have nearly as much time to work at these things due to school and work.

What did I not get to do this summer? Let’s see…I was supposed to get teacher certified for my work, but I needed my official transcripts from my college. I e-mailed and called most of the summer and each person I spoke to told me to speak to an entirely different person. Hopefully, when I go there to get my textbooks for this upcoming semester, I can get a copy, but I won’t be certified in time for when I go back to school.

Another thing I did not get to do…become CPR and first aid certified for work. I was supposed to do that this summer, too, but there were no places that were doing it. My college does it, but they didn’t have the summer schedule up yet. I just found it today. However, that is only CPR, not first aid. Growl.

Thing number three: my MTEL testing. I was supposed to take that tomorrow. However, I only have a student ID and I did not know if that counted. So I called and called and called…left messages and never heard back or had a very frustrating conversation with a bunch of recordings that did not end well. So, I had to reschedule it. Otherwise, if I went there and I couldn’t take the test, I would have to make another appointment and pay all over again. The reschedule is already paid for because it’s coming from the test I was supposed to take tomorrow. Now, this one isn’t much of a big deal. My advisor told me to get it done over the summer so that when I transfer next year, it will increase my chances of getting into the college that I want. However, I am in the transfer program so the college I want to go to next will automatically accept me because of that. So, I’m going to take it in January so I can spend my first half of Winter break studying for it…yipee. I’m not complaining about post-poning it, but…it would have been kind of nice to get it over and done with.

Yet another thing: get my driver’s license. I had a plan that I was going to get it at the end of August. Well, Saturday is the beginning of September, so we all saw how that worked out. My new goal is to get it by the end of September…I’m going to be 19-years-old and with my busy schedule this semester, I cannot rely on everyone to drive me around all over the map. So, we’ll see how that goes.

Last thing I did not do this summer: when was the last time that I wrote? I think it was for the June Camp NaNoWriMo. That was a little over two months ago…sucks, doesn’t it? I was hoping to get something finished this summer, but that didn’t really work out that much. I guess I’ll just have to work at my novels bit by bit during this semester and see where that gets me. I wasn’t able to write on the way to or from Disney because I’m an idiot and put my notebook in my big bag, which was buried in the trunk…I didn’t write at all while I was in Disney because…well, I was in Disney, for God’s sake. Who has time to sit in the hotel room when you can be going out and swimming in the pool, seeing Tinkerbell and Winnie the Pooh, and riding on the Harry Potter ride at Universal?

Has anybody rode on the Harry Potter ride? I did it because I love Harry Potter. Never. Again. I can at least say that I got the experience and I braved it for the time being…but I will never ride on that ride again. They take your picture in the middle of the ride and I look like I’m sleeping because I was too focused on not getting sick. It looks quite funny.

Anyway, so I am slowly working my way back into a routine. When I start writing regularly again I will post more about that than random crap like I am now. At the very latest, I will post again next week. That is something that I really want to do…post at least once a week.

I am off to go set a couple of goals for myself…that way, when I post again I just might have done something productive.