Monday, August 25, 2008

Travel writing

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Guess I should just knock on the door to hades then.

It was my intention to write as I rode in a car for ten hours on Friday, and 12 hours on Sunday. It was a whirlwind trip to Illinois to visit my grandmother. To make it easier I brought my lap top with a plug in for the car so I had power and I could work away.

I did not take into consideration a few things:
  1. I was in a car with my husband, and two children. It was a Toyota Corolla, do you know how SMALL they are?
  2. That a 7 & 10 yr old are easily bored.
  3. That books on tape, even if you are not interested, ARE still distracting. (so is music)
  4. The sun does shine on the screen and its impossible to write.
  5. At night, when the kids should be asleep, the plaintive "The light from the screen is bothering me...." will cause me to have to shut it down (its that or the wrestle off of "she's got more room then me! because they can't sleep).
  6. Just sitting in a car is exhausting!
  7. Oh, and GPS on the laptop is addicting.
  8. Bathroom breaks and food breaks are necessary.
  9. There is such a thing as too much caffeine that makes it hard to write (darn jittery nerves!)
  10. I should have NEVER kept Spider solitaire on the computer.

So, did I write? Yes, I did, but not as much as I thought I would. I foolishly felt I'd have twenty pages easy each day.

How many did I end up with? Well that's relative. I think I've rewritten the beginning of chapter 4 to my WIP five times. I have 4 workable pages and 11 not so good.

I learned something about travel writing--never assume you'll do as much as you think you will and have the time you want.

I have a family vacation coming up in October, this time for a week. What am I going to do? I'll write with more realistic expectations.

Do you write when you travel? In the car or in the hotel? What works and what doesn't?

4 comments:

Karen Beeching said...

I can write in a car but prefer not to. I like my little office at home. It's my writing "place" and I tend to have more creative energy there. It's the only place I can truly get into the zone.

That said, I can tell you if I had a deadline, I could write anywhere.

MaryF said...

I agree! I have a "personal" deadline, I wanted to get my WIP done by the end of September...ha!

Naima said...

LOL! I couldn't help but laugh at your blog. I have sooooo been there! Every year--at least two times a year--we travel to Florida, a ten hour trip. And I always bring my laptop thinking I'm going to get some serious work done on my manuscript. Well, let's just say by hour two, I'm asleep (I don't know why I keep forgetting that road trips make me sleepy!) and by hour eight, I'm reading. I really can't write while traveling. But, like Karen, if I had a deadline, I'd make it work, as Tim Gunn would say (those of you who watch Project Runway are grinning right now!). I really like to work at my desk at home. I have my music and internet all available! So, you're not the only one!

Julie J. said...

Every time I have traveled I have GRAND plans to write and they NEVER pan out. I have decided if I write ANYTHING while traveling I have accomplished SOMETHING. So in my book, you accomplished ALOT!