Home > Writing and Poetry > Traveling and the Word

Traveling and the Word

Traveling broadens a writer’s perspective and experience. We, as writers, all know this to be true. Drawing new characters and settings becomes a delight rather than a chore for this writer simply because the mind constantly files away captions and snapshots along with snippets of dialogue from the daily itinerary.

These past two and half weeks have been broadening my vision of the world in a much larger sense than usual as my sister and I cruised down the highway from Oklahoma to the Pac Northwest coast and back. In fact, we’re still on our way back and waiting for roads to clesr between Wyoming and Denver.

I’ve been to many of our stops before, yet they seem different now. Some new places became etched into my memory so that I can pull them up and sprinkle them liberally among my stories as bits of reality to add spice and draw the reader out of his/her own neighborhood. I like doing that and I like having the opportunity to see new places and hear about the lives of people I’ve never met before.

I suppose, however, that the best part of this looking and seeing and tasting of the world comes in a neat package that allows me to observe myself as a writer and how I relate a possible location or event with a storyline or character development. The process has been almost overwhelming in its own way. That’s what I’ve learned the most from.

Now, I have more visiting to do and more self-kowledge to gain. I hope that all of those who choose to examine their own writing motives enjoy the journey as much as I have. Have a good look around and find out how you build your stories from pieces of trivia gained outside your daily life. When You come to some conclusions about your technique, drop me  a line and clue me in on how you work and what works for you. I like learning from everyone around.

Take care and drive yourself carefully.


Categories: Writing and Poetry
  1. October 28, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Hi Clauds,

    I am a firm believer in write what you know. The catch-22 here is realizing what one knows. Sometimes a trip not only serves to add more experience but it also “freshens” up some memories.

    I would be a lot more comfortable basing a setting on any of the places I have visited/lived in than one I have not experienced at all despite having a “native” of that area describe things. If I was to describe a town going crazy over college football, it could be anywhere in the US but ultimately I would choose Oregon State and University of Oregon because that is in my environment and there is a ton of commentary that floats around town that I subconsciously file for use at a later time.

    I am glad the trip has been fruitful for you in that sense.


  2. November 1, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Clauds:

    I’m glad that your trip went so well for you. I know how visiting places can transform a writer. When I visited Quebec city about eight years ago, I felt very exhilerated and came home and wrote a memoire about my visit and all the people that I spoke to. It is a place that is rich in history and wonder.

    I look forward to hearing about your experiences when we talk next.

    Take care,

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