I had the pleasure of visiting California recently to attend a conference. The concept was that, while I attended the conference during the day, I would continue my writing during the night (and early mornings) just like what I normally do at home in sweet Trinidad and Tobago.
It would be like I never left. Easy enough, right?
Except, I was not at home. I did leave.
I was in an entirely different country. And because of that, I did absolutely no writing at all.
Have you ever experienced this? Is travelling and writing (or any other hobby, exercise maybe) a problem?
It is for me. I know because this isn’t the first time I’ve tried.
Why Can’t I Travel and Write?
For me, the problem happens because there’s too much action going on. The conference had all these after hour social events, and my colleagues always wanted to go somewhere for dinner.
I remember being in Las Vegas a while ago. I got back to my room earlier than usual and thought, maybe I could get some writing done.
So, I pulled out my bad boy of a laptop, whipped it open, placed fingers to keyboard and… nothing.
I couldn’t even type. How could I?
Everyone else was gambling, attending live entertainment, partying.
There was this voice at the back of my head saying, “What are you doing? You’re in Las Vegas. You could write anytime. With all that going on, you’re going to stay indoors and write? I don’t think so.”
You could imagine what happened after that.
So What’s the Fix?
Here’s what I think about writing while you’re travelling: if the main purpose of your trip isn’t writing, then screw it.
Let writing take care of itself. You’ll continue when you get back (or waiting in the air port, which is when I started writing this article). I’m sure your readers will understand.
And here’s an added benefit: you’ll come back with loads of new ideas.
Just don’t take too long to get back in the grove. Remember, you don’t want to lose your inertia.
One week is fine. Two weeks is redlining it. Three weeks and you’re risking brain cells.
So what do you think about travelling and writing? Let me know in the comments.