When you notice that your writing is starting to slump, it’s time to hit the road and go on a trip. Whether you decide to travel far afield or enjoy your hometown, you can use travel to open up the floodgates of your creativity by following these simple steps:
1. Increase Your Powers of Observation- Great writers notice details. As you travel, look closely at everything and everyone. Practice describing the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Use rich language that evokes emotions and sensations, like a velvety rose petal or tart lemon. By the way, that type of language makes compelling blog posts or website copy.
At an airport or park, watch people and describe them in your mind. Look for one characteristic which makes them unique, whether it is a shy smile, a crooked gait, or a piercing stare.
2. Create Stories- As you sit in a coffee shop or visit a museum, create a back story for the people you see. Give yourself creative license to make up a rich life for this person with challenges, triumphs, and desires. Make it juicy, mysterious, or ominous. Even if you write non-fiction, creating these imaginary stories will sharpen your ability to create interest and curiosity with your words.
3. Keep a Journal- Use your trip to develop the habit of daily writing. Make a commitment to spend some time each day chronicling your trip, what you observed, and any inspirations that come to you. By taking a break from your regular writing and writing solely about your travel experiences, you’ll return home to work on your book refreshed but still in the practice of daily writing.
4. Unplug- When you travel, eliminate television, email, and web surfing as much as possible. Fill your mind with interactions with real people instead of electronic media. This will serve as a virtual re-set button for your creativity. You’ll be amazed at the energy and ideas you have when you return home.
5. Try New Things or Learn New Information- In my recent trip to Ecuador, I immersed myself in a different culture where I did not speak the language or know much about the history. I learned so much and reconnected with the joy of discovery. When you help your readers discover new things in your writing, you will inspire them and help them discover new ways to live.
So if you find your writing in a rut, step away from your computer and take a trip. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll return home refreshed, recharged, and ready to write your great book.