I recently returned from a two-week trip to Italy.
It was an incredible experience, to say the least. And while I took a hiatus from the blog during those two weeks, I was actually working – gathering material for future posts.
I’ve traveled before, and so I know what traveling can do for a writer. It’s inspiring. So what do I mean by that?
You’re exposed to new cultures, new people, and new ideas. If this doesn’t broaden your perspectives and renew your creativity, I don’t know what will.
The activities I’ve listed below are suggestions for writers to make the most of their travels.
Take note of the people you meet. You’re surrounded by potential characters for your future novel. The huge push for diversity in YA? This is it. In Italy, I was one of very few people speaking English. I enjoyed listening to the native Italians, to their accents and the way they spoke broken English when answering a tourist’s question.
Take pictures! Pay attention to detail in architecture. One of these locations could become the setting for your newest work, and you want to remember every detail.
Oftentimes writer’s block can be conquered by a change of scenery. This may be as simple as writing in a bookstore rather than your bedroom, or organizing your space. An even better solution? Leave the country.
4. Getting to know your traveling companions
No matter who you’re traveling with, it’s sure to be both fun and frustrating. There isn’t much you can keep from one another. Observe your companion’s quirks. Do they hog the window seat? Refuse to keep their stuff neat?
You may think you’ll remember every little detail forever, but the truth is, you won’t. So do yourself a favor and record the things you don’t want to forget.
Every night, I pulled out my composition book and took quick notes about everything we’d done that day. I’d also jot down words or phrases to jog my memory – to help me recall certain conversations, our hilarious inside jokes, and the many ideas my travels sparked.
Above all, be sure to enjoy yourself. As writers, experience is a crucial aspect of our craft.
*“Traveling” does not only refer to leaving the country. These activities work just as well for a quick trip across town, or a road trip with friends, or a day at a theme park. Remember, it’s your job to make the most of the experience, whatever it may be.