Writing While Travelling…

It SOUNDS good, doesn’t it? All those wasted hours on the plane and in hotel rooms – now upgraded with WRITING! W00t! I’m gonna finish this book in a WEEK!

…and then reality sets in: we do not go overseas to get our books finished (well…those of us who aren’t filthy rich or full-time writers don’t anyway). Alas, no. We go overseas either to travel and enjoy the experience of another country and culture or to work in another country’s office which looks probably not a hell of a lot different from the one at home and where did all that free time go again?

This trip (almost 7 days) I managed to write exactly 1,221 words. A little more than I’ll get done during a single 5am Write Club.

Even now I’m shocked and more than a little disappointed. I thought I’d written a lot more before I’d synced the additions with my manuscript. It would be so much easier if we didn’t have to content with the social aspects of overseas travel – meeting and greeting, having dinners and lunches with your colleagues, family or travel partners and if you didn’t feel so exhausted at the end of the day that it’s all you can do to brush your teeth and get into your pyjamas.

And perhaps this is what sets writers who get their work done fast from the rest of us. I once heard a very famous and popular author say (I’m paraphrasing here from memory, but…): writing is not a social job. It is a very solitary and quite necessarily anti-social thing to do. I agree totally with this and if I wasn’t such a social animal, I might be able to tell my work colleagues “No, I’m sorry, I’m staying in” and write the hell out of a chapter or two…but unfortunately I am a social animal, so when they say “do you want to come to dinner?” I’m the “Of course – where are we going?” kind of person.

So…as I creep further and further past the other side of my self-imposed “deadline” (let us never speak of it again), I find myself buoyed by the fact that I am past half-way on the book, but somewhat defeated by the fact that it’s taken me THIS LONG.

— IEK

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