September 13, 2011

brainstorming on the road

Blogger's Note: I asked my friend, co-worker and fellow aspiring author Jacie Noel to write this blog post. As a traveling journalist, my writing buddy gives some insight on how to take advantage of her time on the road to generate story ideas.

By Jacie Noel
Guest blogger

A while back, a couple of my co-workers and I were discussing our traveling habits, how they not only pertain to our jobs, but our lives in general. While driving several hours is a standard for our job, it got me thinking on how driving has impacted my writing.

I've talked with Laura about how she came up with one of her books on the road. I found that to be similar for me. I hardly go into my drive thinking, "Oh I'm going to come up with ideas for my book." Usually, driving includes me singing along loudly with music. But there gets to be a point in my drive where I'm developing characters and scenes and I know I have to write this down. When this first happened, I never wrote anything down thinking I would remember. I didn't. Since then I've learned from my mistakes.

Here are a couple of my tricks I've learned for writing on the road:

•  Have a notebook/pen. I carry a notebook and pen everywhere and when I'm on a trip, they sit on my passenger seat. If an idea comes to me and I have a place to stop, I will pull over and write it down. If I don't have time to write it all down, I will still write a few words or a quick phrase to bring me back to that thought later. In this case, I make sure it's safe to do so. Not  wanting to recommend any bad driving habits.

•  Keep a voice recorder. A much safer alternative if I don't have places to pull over. Personally, when I drive I'd rather not stop many times anyway. So, I have a recorder handy and put my thoughts in there. I hate the sound of my voice so I don't do this very often. I also don't travel with recorders on short trips and keep them with me unlike my notebook.

Does driving or anything else have an impact on your writing? I'd love to hear more ideas and what you think about driving and writing.

Thanks to Laura for letting me be a guest blogger!

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