Sunday, September 4, 2011

Writing on the Road, by Aaron Paul Lazar



 I’ve always been a homebody. Mostly it’s because I get all the social interaction I need from my family, my friends at work, and my characters. And of course, many of my passions lie on the home front, like writing, gardening, cooking, and taking photos of the Genesee Valley.

But several of these hobbies are decidedly portable, and writing is one I can do anywhere, as long as I have my trusty MacBook Pro at my side.

If you have a trip coming up and happen to be in the middle of writing a book – don’t despair! Not only do you not have to worry about continuing your story, you might actually find the experience a writing nirvana.

My good friend Mary Emmons suggested I write a piece about it, since I seem to be doing this a lot more lately with the new day job. Here are a few things to consider before you travel.

Whether you’re going to a remote cabin in the woods without Internet, like our new favorite Tall Pines cabin in the Adirondacks we discovered a few years ago that is now my favorite writing place in the world, or whether you’re traveling to Germany or Thailand, like I have done in the past few years, be sure to be prepared.

First of all, safeguard all of your current works before sending yourself and your laptop around the globe. Of course, you should already have a hard drive backup (that you actually USE every day!) and also as a backup to the backup it’s a good idea to enroll in an online service like Carbonite that can keep your files safe in case of a fire or hurricane. And always, always send the finished versions of your manuscripts to a few trusted friends to hold onto. That way they will be saved in your “sent” files of your emailer if you set it up that way. I also send them to myself and save them in a folder on Yahoo just as a extra precaution. I can access them that way from any computer in the world in case of a hard drive crash.

Okay, so now that you know you’re safe whether or not you drop your laptop into the hotel pool, prepare to have access to your laptop while you have all those endless, otherwise boring hours in the airports.

Bring your charger in your online baggage, and if you’re working at the gate waiting for your flight to come in (sometimes this can be hours and hours…), be sure to find a spot where you can top off the battery for the flight.

Some airlines (like my recent flight to Germany on Lufthansa) don’t let you use laptops any more during the flight. In that case, have a good book ready. I keep books loaded on my iPhone (in case they let us use it on “airplane mode”) and also always carry a few paperbacks. Of course, we all know that reading is the best way to get inspired and learn the craft, so I consider this just an extension of my writing. But if you are allowed to power up during the flight, push your seat back as far as you can and get to work!

One of course must develop the ability to block out all the background noise in the airport terminal (it can be brutal!) or on the plane. But with the proper earplugs and focus, you might be able to write a few chapters while zooming across the globe.

Although I get terribly homesick when I’m on an extended trip away from family, I do find the time in the hotel—whether sitting at a breakfast table, by the pool, or in my room—provides some of the best writing time ever.

There are no dogs to let out, no honey-do lists, no gardens to weed, no televisions blaring in the background, no meals to prepare. There’s just that delicious, quiet, beckoning time to delve into my stories and go wild. Honestly, it can be some of the most productive writing time ever. I rarely even turn on the television when I’m at the hotel, because that’s one distraction I don’t need.

How do you write when you travel? Are you a pen and paper kind of writer? Do you imagine your next chapters in your head while relaxing with your eyes closed?

The lesson here is that requisite travel doesn’t have to mess up your writing schedule – it can actually enhance it!

Remember, if you love to write, write like the wind!

Aaron Lazar




Twilight Times Books by Kindle bestselling author Aaron Lazar:

LEGARDE MYSTERIES
DOUBLE FORTE' (new release 2012)
UPSTAGED (2005)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (2007)
MAZURKA (2009)
FIRESONG (JULY 2011)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (APRIL 2012) 

MOORE MYSTERIES
HEALEY'S CAVE (2010)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (JAN 2012)
FOR KEEPS (FEB 2012)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS (COMING SOON! OCTOBER 2011)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (COMING SOON! MARCH 2012)

Awards:
WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION * GRAND PRIZE FINALIST Eric Hoffer Book Award 2011 * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnsons’ 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 *  Finalist Allbooks Editors Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist  *   Yolanda Renee's Top Ten Books 2008   *  MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008  * Writers' Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009 & 2010

www.legardemysteries.com
www.mooremysteries.com
www.murderby4.blogspot.com
www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com





6 comments:

Marta Stephens said...

Oh what I'd do for a little R&R and quiet time these days. :)

When I have traveled, my mind has always seemed to be on a million other things and in spite of good intensions, I never have been able to write "on the road."

I'm happy to read about your adventures though!

Kim Smith said...

I try to write when I travel but for me it is mostly a time to read. Time is so important as is place and motivation and I am finding as I go along that more than one of those goes
Missing when I travel as these days my travel is for vacation only.

Sonya said...

I'm a homebody, too. :-) But I do travel twice a year for work, so I get to write on a train, which is pretty awesome!

The bus on the way home, not so awesome. I usually try to bring a book for that. :-)

That's a good point about backing up your work before you go!

Nancy said...

Aaron, you're always so good about maximizing your time. You provided some great tips for those who write on laptops during travel.

I have never been able to write during travel, but I always carry a small notebook for jotting down thoughts or recording character traits or thoughts of interesting people I encounter. A digital camera is another essential for recording scenery, events, people for potential writing fodder. I also bring my well-stocked Kindle wherever I go so I always have reading material.

justismith said...

I am a pen and paper kind of girl, for sure! Whether or not I am traveling, I always begin all of my writing the old-fashioned way, and the begin typing on the computer. Check out my blog post on it: http://justismith.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-pen-is-mightier-than-the-keyboard/

I have to agree with writing in the Adirondacks-when my family and I camp there in the summer, I always find time to slip away, sit by the water, and just write. It's necessary and I look forward to it every summer.

I also always have to have a book with me. While I was in school, there was always a paperback in my backpack. But now, I use my iPod Touch with the Kindle and Overdrive apps to read books that I've purchased and borrowed digitally from my library.

Great post!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, everyone. So glad you dropped by and shared your unique slant on this! Have a great evening. ;o)