My husband and I are traveling to Boston this week, and we’re pretty much over the moon. We’ve been told by multiple people that it’s the perfect city for two book-loving, art-appreciating, foodie nerds such as us.
And of course, because I can’t ever get writing out of my head, I immediately started thinking about what can I endeavor to learn on this trip that will make me a better writer.
Traveling is one of the best ways to improve your writing, for a few simple reasons:
- You learn new things
- You get to think differently than normal
- You get to do a different routine than normal
- You’re constantly aware of where you are and what you’re doing
When you’re constantly seeing new things, experiencing new places and people, and challenging yourself to think and search and be in new ways, you’re fine tuning your senses. You’re building an arsenal of experiences and feelings that you can pull from in your writing, making your descriptions more vivid, your characters three dimensional, and your plots more interesting.
And the simplest reason is when you travel, you improve yourself. And your writing is closely connected to who you are. The more you travel, the more you learn, not just about the world at large, but about yourself too. And that makes you a better writer.
I’m sharing the top three things I’ll do when I travel to improve my writing.
- Keep a Notebook With Me
This should just be the first rule of being a writer… if we had rules, anyway. I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it until I’m blue in the face: carrying a notebook with you can be a lifesaver. I’ve written about inspiration before in this post, and my first tip is to write it down! Even if you think you’ll never use it or you’ll never expand on it, write it down, whatever it is.
I don’t think I need to explain why this is so important, but you’ll never remember a blip of inspiration if you don’t write it down. I like to use a notebook because I’m old school and the tactile act of handwriting it helps it retain in my memory. You could use the notes app on your phone or send yourself an email. Whatever works.
- I Won’t Write Unless I Get the Urge
This sounds kinda weird coming from the girl who is always telling you to get writing. I know. But hear me out.
Vacations are meant to relax you, pull you out of your normal routine, and rejuvenate you. I write somewhere between several hundred and several thousand words a day, so occasionally, I need a mental break.
The more I write, the more I find myself needing to be very intentional about separating my “two worlds”: my writing world and my real life. I can easily get cause up in whatever story I’m writing. I joke with my husband that my head is “still in the world”. I can easily become less present in my day-to-day life when I’m writing so much.
And this isn’t great for either of my worlds. I can get too caught up in trees rather than the forest in the writing and I’m not fully engaged with the people I want to be spending my time and energy on. On vacation, unless I feel that nagging need in my chest to go write, I’m going to take a break and let myself stay present.
- Let Myself Be Inspired
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in whatever my current project it. I’m aiming to let myself be inspired by artwork, architecture, history, and music on my vacation. Allowing yourself to let other sources of beauty touch you and influence you will give you energy, enlightenment, and inspiration in spades.
You won’t be able to stop writing once you get home.
I write about self-care for writers a ton on this blog, because I believe it’s one of the most important things we can do. The more we take care of ourselves, the more we can become better writers.
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