Saturday, July 27, 2013

Does Travel boost Creativity?

Hemingway wrote many of his books while traveling in far away places.

Ian Flemming wrote much of the James Bond novels on the island of Jamaica. 

I can see it now - you wake up to the sound of waves crashing onto the beach a few yards from your bungalow with a mind full of fresh material for your current work in progress.  You walk out onto the verandah and dive off into the fresh ocean waters instead of standing in a 4x4 foot shower thinking about your commute and the daily grind of your job.

On the way out of the ocean you grab a papaya off one of the bushes next to the bungalow and slice it open with your pocketknife for your morning breakfast.

After dressing you find a cup of fresh Jamaican coffee sitting next to your laptop and you settle in for a few hours of uninterrupted writing before calling it a day and heading down to town to see what trouble you can get into. The streets are alive with action and vibrant color.

This seems like a much better choice than dressing the kids, making their lunches, and merging onto the highway in your car to find that you’re joining a 5 mile long traffic jam while you watch the red digits on your in dash clock creep closer to 8:00 am.

While it’s most likely impossible to believe we can run off to a tropical island to write out next masterpiece it is probable that we can plan and take a vacation once in a while. The choices of travel destinations range from the inexpensive to the exquisite. 

I remember a period of my life when I used to load up my VW Bug with a cooler, a dome tent, and my girlfriend and head off to the forests of northern Arizona to camp for the weekend.  We’d spent the days hiking and the evenings drinking wine, and grilling over a campfire as the sun waned and the stars spilled across the dark skies.

Writers come up with many of their ideas based on previous experience. Travel enriches our lives, relaxes us, and provides us with new ideas for our writing. Most of us travel to recharge our batteries after months or years of the same wake, eat, drive, work, drive, eat, relax, sleep cycle that we perform daily. Day in and day out our lives become a series of tasks done almost out of habit. We forget what it’s like to let loose and relax until we have the chance to take a vacation. Then after a few days we think wow is this what it feels like to be relaxed?

What do you think?

Have you traveled anywhere recently?  Did you feel your creativity increase?

Friday, July 26, 2013


What inspires you to write?

For me writing has become a passion I spend much of my free time pursuing.  I've always enjoyed writing, but it took multiple decades filled with experience and exploration before deciding to undertake the creation of a novel seemed feasible.

Does travel provide inspiration to be creative?

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Italy and several other European countries for the first time. It was good to see several bookstores along the way.

So far I'd have to say that Italy, and the Amalfi Coast are my favorites. I still have many places I'd like to visit and I will hope, and dream that someday I may get to them. In the meantime I will continue to write and enjoy the inspiration that travel to all places great and small provides me.

Tell me what places you enjoy traveling to and what inspires you?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Ripening of a Novel

Spent 2 weeks on vacation without writing a single word.  It was a nice break and the longest I've gone without working on one of my books since June of 2010.  I had a good hour long meeting with my editor on July 14th and am setting off on some small characterization changes to draft 8 of my thriller novel Not Dead Yet.  Then he will do his edit of the manuscript.  It's an exciting time for me.  I can't wait to see what comes of it and begin the process of querying agents.  I've announced this before, but have learned not to rush a manuscript and to remember that writing a novel, and perfecting it is much like waiting for a choice bottle of wine to ripen.  Good things can't be rushed.