Surely, every writer knows what it feels like to get stuck in a rut. Just the monotonous churning of life with very little room to gather inspiration and motivation. And no matter how you force yourself to start writing an extraordinary piece, there are just not enough stimuli to even let you write your first line. Woe is you.
Woe was me, too. I used to struggle with writer’s block – that empty feeling of wanting to pour your heart and soul into a blank piece of paper yet nothing’s coming out…and the deadline is not far behind. There’s just not enough juice inside my brain to express my thoughts and feelings. It frustrated me to the core. Since my life’s income depended on my writing, I had to find a way to surpass the moment of psychological incapacity and bring back my vigor.
I found out a beneficial way of filling up the inspiration bar inside my head – all I needed to do was pack my bags, hit the road, and go someplace new. “Taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve our health, motivation, relationships, job performance, and perspective and give us the break we need to return to our lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes.” Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP said.
Benefits of My Travels
Traveling has freed me from the depths of a tedious environment, basking in the unchained feeling of being far away from the comforts of my home. Like what I always say – the best way to gather experience and inspiration is to walk out the door. Here are some of the ways traveling has inspired me to be a better writer:
- Learning from the Source
There’s nothing more authentic than going to the place where you want to set your next plot. It’s sometimes better if you visit a site where you’ve never been before. Writing becomes interesting if you add intriguing characters with different backgrounds. Your next project could be ideally located amidst the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand, the busy streets of Thailand, or the simplicity of Vietnam.
If you have no place in mind, let your feet decide for you; whether it’s a beach nearby or a newly opened restaurant. Wherever you stumble upon, take it all down to the tiniest bit of information. Being physically present is better than just reading or watching it.
- You Live and Learn
Traveling made me feel so alive and driven. I have explored places I can only hope and wish for. When traveling, I am not merely working. I am also enjoying the sights and sounds. I try out all the unique and magnificent things that the place can offer. Through my journeys, I have learned a lot about the importance of preserving culture because it is where all the extraordinary stories come from. It’s what makes stories interesting. I’ve already acquired new skills and techniques in writing by reading some of the works of local writers who are famous in a particular area.
- Meeting the Locals
Every single person I meet through my travels is a candidate to become a new character in my novels. Whenever I travel, I have this exhilarating feeling of meeting my new heroine and deriving her story from an exciting person I might connect with on the plane or a train or even in a park. Every stranger I’ve met, every local I’ve talked to and interviewed has one way or another influenced me to create characters with compelling histories and complex personalities.
- Think Outside the Box
One of the disheartening occurrences that can happen to a writer is to be stuck; sometimes, it’s quite challenging to get out of the situation that it’s utterly frustrating. Traveling has purposely given me ideas and scenarios to end a story which is very beneficial for any writer; it gave me a newfound perspective and was roused to see life from a different angle.
John Weaver, PsyD “People are staying at work longer to get ahead more,” says Weaver. “To a large degree, there’s been an expectation by business owners that this is, in fact, the way that it should be, rather than looking at it and saying that this is somehow out of balance.” Whenever I travel, I make sure that I save some time for rest and relaxation; that one day when I can just bask my way through the waves of the ocean or just indulge with a soothing massage. I usually allow one day where I can sit back and reflect while sipping my favorite drink. It is a perfect time for me to recall the accounts of my few days of roaming and researching and relieve my mind and body of the stress and pressures of the day.
John Mayer, PhD “Vacations are coping mechanisms that help us adapt to the everyday stresses in our lives.” From me to you, as a fellow writer, my best advice is to get out and travel. It doesn’t have to be an out-of-the-country trip. Maybe, for now, you can go on a hike or one-day road trip and introduce your senses to new experiences.