Friday, October 1, 2010

Traveling and Writing

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This Friday I’m blogging on one of my favorite subjects, the complimentary relationship between traveling and writing. I’m a big believer that traveling not only improves your life, but it improves your writing. Inspiration isn’t exactly something you can order up at will, but I’ve found a change of surroundings tends to increase the odds in a writer’s favor. With the weekend upon us I figured I’d extol some of the ways that a person can easily incorporate traveling into their life as a means of benefiting their writing and, of course, their soul.

First off, eliminate that negative part of your mind that says ‘no’ to everything. This is the most important step and will enable you to just go with the flow and enjoy things that might normally take you out of your comfort zone. Adventures in life are the raw material of adventures on the page! But you might be saying, hey Mark, I don’t have a lot of money to go spending on travel. Neither do I! All the better. I’m a big fan of shoestring vacations. It forces you to actually interact with people wherever you go and live like a local for a few days. And it costs very little to bring a notebook and a pen to with which to write. Whether backpacking in hostels, hiking to camp sites, or staying with a friend in another city, all of these super low budget accommodations only enhance the very experiences you’re looking for when you need life to inspire you. But I’m not advocating freeloading either. Something cheap in terms of money still isn’t cheap. Wherever you go, you help clean up or volunteer or do something else that “pays” for your trip and brings you good karma all around.

Now my favorite time of year has begun, the season of fall. A great time to go stay at a house in the country or hike along a windswept part of the coast. Also, a time when life tends to force you to travel anyways so that you can visit friends and family for the upcoming holidays. And here’s where the last part of writing and traveling come together. Set aside some time on your weekend jaunts to quiet reading and writing. Don’t stick to a rush, rush schedule, but leave a healthy space for you to absorb the wonderful things around you. Alright, enough of my Zen-ish comments. Go enjoy your weekend, and most importantly…have a good time.