I know I have been away for a while, but I am back with more inspiration, stored energy and happiness as well as writing tips.
I was in Sweden for 5 days for the Herrang Dance Camp, where I danced, danced and danced, and then I was off to Norway for 10 days to see some old friends. While my on-and-off internet connection didn’t allow me to publish while I was there, my notebooks got full of ideas. One of those ideas was the benefits traveling provides to writers so here we go:
1) Inspiration – for both fiction and non-fiction. Traveling brings more muses than I can count. The scenery, the languages, culture, meeting new people, visiting the new and revisiting the old, seeing old friends…Not to mention experiencing my first (swing) dance festival. I’m bursting with ideas and like most writers, the more ideas I have, the happier I am.
2) Potential to sell (travel) articles and make money. Naturally, travelling brings many ideas for travel markets, whether be in print or on the web.
I took as many pictures as I could- it was easier, faster and more detailed than writing things down every time I wanted to take a note of something. So now I have many pictures to derive ideas and slants from. I’m also organizing a big list of paying travel markets which I’ll happily share once it is finished.
3) Motivation to write and sell more productively. It’s easier to get caught in the latest social media article, Facebook status update or what to write in the blog that is fun, but doesn’t really make you money.
But once you’ve spent 2 weeks in 2 expensive countries, you are back with a rested and fresh mind, as well as more motivation to work more efficiently and concentrate on gigs that will make you money. After all, not only did you spend a lot, but you were also reminded of how awesome traveling is.
So there is a chance you will be planning your next trip before you get back. I know I did. So more money means more traveling which brings more ideas and inspiration, making you a happier and fitter writer…Yes, traveling has its perks indeed.
4) Fitness. Oh, about the fitness. I’m a 27-year-old female who was going abroad for 2 weeks, to a much colder climate (the temperature was an average of 17 Celsius in July!) and trying to make sure I didn’t exceed the 20kg limit my ticket allowed me. I didn’t want to pay extra, plus carrying more than 20kgs is not exactly fun.
But trying to get everything you need (since it is a camp, I needed to bring my sheets and stuff), plus a few things you want (make-up essentials, party clothes)…let’s just say I lost some weight just packing and repacking and then trying to zip it all up.
I always get fitter in the process of packing. Not to mention all the power-walking I had to do at the airport to catch flights, buy gifts and window-shop…Then of course there is all the walking you have to do while sightseeing and voila!!!
Despite all the candy I sinfully consumed, I am back having lost 2kgs. Yes, I love traveling.
(To be fair though, I did dance like crazy for 5 days, and there were 2 concerts in the second week.)
5) Authenticity if you want to write a story with characters from those countries and/or stories taking place there. It’s amazing how much your vocabulary can improve when you pay attention. You can also notice the tones, attitudes, approaches and interactions.
6) Extra writing time. While I didn’t do that much writing, I still took advantage of the time between flights, waiting for the plane to take-off or the 15-20 minutes I needed to relax my body. It’s not much, but because you don’t have the time for distraction, it is efficient. Plus it feels a bit more fun, given the change in location. Somehow I got the best idea on how to start my novel while I was in Sweden, while I wasn’t thinking about the novel…which, by the way, takes place in New York. Inspiration is a funny thing.
Traveling is great for so many reasons, and even more so for writers. I don’t know where I’ll go next, but I can’t wait to do it again. How is your relationship with traveling?