Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writing on the Road

Since Friday, I've been in hotel rooms and family homes, some with good internet, most without. I've also spent over six hours a day in the car, driving only half the time. The plan was to get some writing - well, revising - done whenever I had a chance. Things haven't gone as planned. Go figure.

My failing laptop only has a battery life of about an hour these days, so just as I'm getting my groove on in the car, the screen goes black. By the time my brain wakes up enough in the morning to even focus on revising, it's time to check out and hit the road again. And then by the time we check into our room, eat dinner, settle in for the evening, check email and get caught up, I'm too exhausted to focus for long.

Obviously, these are excuses. Except the dead battery - I really can't revise without power. But if I'd been drafting, this would definitely just be an excuse because there are, of course, these objects called pen and paper. I know many of you draft with these instruments and then later type your new chapters. My writing hand just can't keep up with my brain nearly as well as my typing fingers can, so I don't do it often. But it's possible.

Anyway...excuses. That's what these are. To be professional writers, we have to condition ourselves to be able to write (or revise) under any conditions. After all, part of the profession is touring and we need to be able to do our work in the car, on a plane, in a hotel room or anywhere else. Because deadlines don't stop their fast approaches just because we aren't home. Publishers expect us to go on the road, but they also still expect that next book to be done according to contract.

It doesn't matter that I'm indie. I still have a commitment to my business partner and others - most importantly, readers! - to produce a book by the date I said I would. Indie writers have more leeway than contracted authors, but that doesn't give us a free pass. We still have to do our job. We still have to meet our responsibilities, whether it's to ourselves, to our supporters or to our readers.

So I'm working on eliminating these excuses and getting my job done, even while traveling, visiting and sight-seeing. If you have any tips, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Where do you usually write? Can you write anywhere, despite distractions, or do you need your special writing place to focus? Have you ever written while traveling? How did it go?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't tried writing while traveling. I imagine it would be more challenging with so many other distracting things. Maybe while you're driving you can plan out what you're going to write next? Sometimes when I can't write I do that and it motivates me to keep going. Good luck with writing and traveling!


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