Whether you have a career as a full-time writer or just write when time allows for pure enjoyment, you’ve probably experienced some creative dry spells. Perhaps you’re even going through one right now.
Hitting plateaus can feel overwhelming, especially if writing is your livelihood. Fortunately, the cure for what ails you may be something as fun as traveling. Even if you’re at your peak as a writer, traveling still offers many ways to sharpen and expand your capabilities.
Traveling Could Encourage You to Get the Full Story
There’s something soothing that comes from being around familiar people in your everyday life. Maybe you consistently see the same old woman walking her dog as you commute to work, or pass a scientist in his lab coat on his way to the office when you’re en route to school with the kids.
However, such familiarity can also mean you don’t take time to indulge your curiosity. When you’re traveling, you’ll almost certainly be around people you’ve never met, and will likely never see again. If something fascinates you about a person who crosses your path while you’re away from home, be bold and try to engage in a conversation.
Rather than just coming up with conclusions in your mind, you can get first-hand perspectives and connect with the locals. Furthermore, the fact you may never get a second chance to talk to a certain person again may be enough to override any timidity you’re feeling.
You’ll Tend to Rely on Your Senses More While Traveling
When you’re in a place you don’t know well, you’ll probably start unconsciously using your five senses more often than you would at home. That’s simply because you need them to tell you as much as possible about your surroundings.
Inhaling deeply may reveal you’re near a bakery that’s making some fresh loaves. Or, the rumble of a passing train in the distance may verify you’re walking in the right direction to catch a railway ride to a nearby city.
Instead of momentarily tapping into what your senses are saying and eventually forgetting the associated sensations, capture them by writing what you experience in a travel journal. Make the descriptions as rich as possible, and you’ll later discover the writing you did while traveling helps you reminisce about the time away.
You Can Stay Close to Home and Still Notice Benefits
Maybe you’re itching to get away from your routine, but don’t have the time nor money for a two-week getaway. That’s a common situation, but one you can solve by planning a “staycation.” That simply means deciding you want to become more acquainted with the area around where you live by traveling locally. Many people get caught up in the necessities of going to work, raising children or attending school they miss out on standout attractions and events in their communities.
When you treat yourself to a staycation, you’ll possibly end up having a new appreciation for the place where you live. While exploring, you may discover new favorite writing spots, stumble upon incredible landmarks you just have to describe in your blog or maybe even connect with fellow writers you’d never met before who could offer fresh perspectives on your work.
Even a Meal Can Serve as a Writing Prompt
You probably think of a meal eaten at home as more of a necessity than something that could stimulate your creative abilities. However, there are some exceptions, such as if you are eating with someone you love, or chowing down on a favorite dish.
When traveling, you’ll have the opportunity to try new cuisines and get introduced to cultural meal norms. After you embrace the experience of enjoying meals while traveling, don’t be surprised if the foods you ate provide sustenance for your day not to mention plenty of writing inspiration.
You Can Go on a Writing-Centered Trip
Sometimes the best way to get over a bout of writer’s block is to not just travel, but take a trip that focuses on writing. Maybe that means heading to a site in the wilderness, disconnecting from technology, surrounding yourself with other people who love words and putting pen to paper as the motivation comes. Or, perhaps you feel compelled to head to a festival that celebrates literary works.
By being around like-minded people, you can pick up writing tips and get advice about challenges that have hindered your craft. Perhaps you’ll even witness something that ultimately fuels the plot for your next book or the subject of an upcoming series of blog posts.
By taking part in some of the suggestions above, you’ll likely come away with a multitude of memories that remind you how the world is full of writing opportunities. When you’re eager to step out of your comfort zone and be observant, you’re more likely to notice how even seemingly ordinary events and places can trigger reasons to write.