Travel Notes: Learning and Relearning

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I always learn things when I travel. Sometimes I relearn them.

  1. Travel is exhausting. Am I driving 5+ hours? Then I won’t get much of any meaningful writing done. Expecting anything else of myself is ridiculous.
  2. If visiting family, writing will not happen unless I carve out time for it. Visiting my sister? Much as I love her, I can’t even count on carving out time. Unless she’s asleep, I can’t count on uninterrupted focus.
  3. If I don’t have writing materials set out and/or readily available, the chances of writing happening significantly decrease. This is worse during the revision stage due to the addition of the manuscript. It is bigger and bulkier than my notebook, making it inconvenient to carry around and inconvenient to wrangle into the dimensions of an airline tray table.
  4. My stories like it when I travel. They talk to me. They talk a lot. Noisy buggers. In the past week, at least thirteen individual stories threw out new details and ideas.
  5. Travel provides story fodder. So. Much. Story. Fodder.
  6. Adjusting – readjusting – to the world takes time. I have to be kind to myself and let that time happen. Writing takes a hell of a lot of energy, however sedentary it may be.
  7. Planning a two trips back to back without even a day of rest in between was not the smartest decision I’ve ever made. Note to self: don’t do it again.

So not a lot of revision happened. Not nearly so much writing as I would have liked. Another week of vacation to stay home and do all the things that couldn’t be done while traveling and visiting family would be perfect.

In short: travel is great for writing. As in filling the well. Travel is terrible for writing, in terms of actual production. And yet somehow I always expect more.

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