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  • Writer's pictureMary Kate McGowan

Lessons from the Road: How to Write on the Go

Traveling inspires me. New places and exotic sights flood my senses and generate (hopefully) innovative ideas. When traveling, I am constantly inspired to create.

There is one main “story” I tell myself when traveling that seems counter-intuitive.

“But, I’m on vacation.” Writing is my job, so when I’m traveling, I want to take a little time off from my “day job.”

But I can’t turn off creating.

This past week, I’ve been exploring Arizona. From the Sonoran Desert to the Sedona Red Rocks, I’ve been feasting my eyes on natural wonders that have sparked ideas for storytelling.

Is there a notebook full of ideas ticked away in my daypack, located just outside this photo?
Is there a notebook full of ideas ticked away in my daypack, located just outside this photo?

For the past week, I’ve been “writing” in my mind. I have a never-ending list of blog posts and directions to take my side hustle. But tonight, I wanted to write how you can write/create on the go—if you so choose.

The key is to balance your vacation and exploration time with getting what you need to get done for your business. Make sure you take enough time for yourself to ease any burnout or exhaustion.

Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of inspiration while traveling:

1. Write while on the airplane. You don’t have to splurge for the expensive airline WiFi if you just write in your “notes” app, Microsoft Office or another offline writing platform. While on the airplane, you already have limited options for what you can do, so if you’re feeling like writing, go for it.

2. Make time to journal every day (or as much as you can). Even if you just write what you did that day and how you felt, you’re creating breadcrumbs to help yourself remember your ideas and channel your “out of office” energy while in the office.

Travel and natural wonders inspire creativity.
Travel inspires creativity.

3. You can’t control when inspiration or a good idea is going to come to you. So prepare for when that could happen. I suggest carrying around a small notepad. Another option is writing ideas in a designated note on your phone, emailing or texting yourself.

I can’t tell you how many ideas have popped into my head while hiking. When this happens, I tell myself that I’ll remember those ideas. That I should enjoy that moment. But really, I should make a note to prevent memory loss.

4. If you’re constantly moving and do not have time to write out full thoughts, make a quick voice memo. It’ll only take a few seconds for you to talk through your thought and/or give yourself some hints of what you were thinking.

5. If you find yourself with a bit of time, but you don’t have enough time to write a whole blog post, write an outline for the blog post. That way, you can list the topics you want to discuss and the arguments you want to make. When you have time to write the blog, you’ve given yourself a running start.


Have questions or comments? I want your feedback!

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