Feeding the Muse by Going on Travel

I just came back from ten days of travel.  Due to the circumstances of the trip, I was unplugged from the internet for those ten days–no web surfing, no emails, no blogs.  I still had my cell phone, but only did texts or calls during a certain designated time period in the afternoon.

I was curious to see if I would notice anything different about how my mind worked, and how I would view my internet usage when I got back.    Was my usage having an impact on my creativity and ability to focus?

Very quickly, I found I didn’t miss the internet at all.  In fact it felt like a burden had been dumped off my back–I didn’t have to worry about getting back to emails, I blew off my blog, I didn’t waste time web surfing.  Instead I was out and about each day seeing places, meeting people, and reading books to relax in the evenings.

Two effects were noticeable within a few days–1) I found I could quickly plow through novels again (and so raced through Jane Austen’s EMMA and John D. MacDonald’s DRESS HER IN INDIGO), and 2) I found myself getting braincramps from all the story ideas that kept coming up due to the travel itself.

Travel can be a great way to get ideas for stories:  museums, historical places, cultural landmarks, art spots, local restaurants, national and state parks, long walks down the street, people sitting around chatting in hotels….

Keep a pen and notepad around during the trip.  Make an effort to see the places and people that make a location “different” from everywhere else.  By doing so, I’ve now got more ideas than I can deal with, even if I write non-stop for the next five years.

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Going forward, I’ll be posting on Wednesdays.  I’ll also be cutting back my email and web time, limiting it to evenings after a full day of work and writing.   So there’ll be a noticeable lag time in moderating comments.

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