There is something hypnotic and frightening to me about long travel days. I can’t help falling to sleep in the car while my mind wanders listlessly through endless storylines, to-do lists, and vague imagination. Sometimes I will even break into a little anxiety, just to shake things up. But now there is something to do on the road, something that makes the travel seem that much brighter. I get to plan.
Typing on the road is, by and large, a fool’s game. Yes, there are wireless keyboards and mounts for phones and tablets or go old school and use a laptop for its intended purpose. But all of these are uncomfortable with the angles, sunlight, and -if you aren’t traveling without kids- there’s going to be noise. You can get a little bit done, but most of your time will be staring into the distance because of the glare on your screen.
However, you can still be productive on the road. You just need to talk. Some of the best work I have done has been born from throwing ideas out verbally and having my partner shoot them down or talk them up. Either one is a blessing. It doesn’t mean that I give up on the bad ideas, just refine them and make them better. And it doesn’t mean that I keep all the clever ideas. Well, no, I do that, but sometimes I slip them into my back pocket for later.
What the travel keeps reminding me is that being creative is not a solo task. Very rarely does someone write in a total vacuum. Even more rarely is that writing any good. So take advantage of the time you have, with kids plugged in and the scenery whisking by.
Long travel days are you best creative consultant days.
Get out there and write.