For the past few weeks, my routine has changed due to not being around my normal habitat. That means that while my writing intentions were always good, I didn’t always reach my daily or even weekly goals. I did manage to grab a few dedicated minutes here and there, but none of the good runs where I could add up some serious word count. It got me thinking about how to maximize time away from home if the normal routine is broken.

Morning mood

One of the things is to learn how to write whenever possible. That means finding places where you can plug in either literally with your technology or metaphorically with your writing brain. I managed to write in a park, in a few coffee shops, in a restaurant, in bed, and on tables in different locations. The writing I’m producing seems stilted to me because I’m starting and stopping regularly. But the point is that I’m still writing. Getting some words further in my goal is better than no words.

Another point to remember is that while away, everything around you is fair game for your writer’s brain. I’ve listened in to conversations in order to get a feel for regional language, accent, slang, or possibly future dialogue. Looking for new activities to experience is a great way to add to a writer’s repertoire.

Recently, I realized that I was the city mouse visiting with family members who live the country mice life. The sun became the alarm clock, much to the dismay of my eyes. In no way did I truly do the real work on a farm, but I’ve spent the last couple of days doing things I would never get to do in my normal life. I can now add driving different tractors to my writer’s memory as well as the term “bush hogging”. I took time to look at the fields of grass waving in the wind and practiced describing them. The moon and stars in a dark sky at night unfettered by lights or any population gave me inspiration. Instead of lamenting that I wasn’t behind my computer writing more words, I took time out to experience things that may enrich my writing.

There are those who are lucky enough to plan to be away from home in order to write. Someday, I’ll get there. But for now, I do my best to maximize what I can do to become better at my profession and passion. And while I look forward to being back at my own desk in my own known world, I am filing away what I’ve been living while away.