A week or so before I left on my trip I was asked to write a short story. I’d previously written something, but it was crap, so I decided to start from scratch. Two days before I left I had an idea, but I needed time to think about it.
It’s no surprise that trips have downtime. You have to arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight, or your flight gets delayed (or even cancelled), or the train ride is 5 hours long, or maybe you just want a nice sit-down.
I used my downtime to work on my plot. From Halifax to Philadelphia to London to Cardiff to Dublin to Edinburgh, I thought about and worked on my plot. I had a pretty good outline and even attempted writing an opening scene by the time we reached Edinburgh.
There’s something about Europe that makes me feel really creative.
We were travelling from Edinburgh to London by train, so that was 5 hours we were going to have to entertain ourselves. Kristen wasn’t feeling well, so she pretty much slept the entire trip. Normally I have travel-induced-narcolepsy and fall asleep the minute a vehicle starts moving, but I had plans for this trip.
What did I do? I wrote. I wrote a first draft of the story and even had time for a quick edit.
Part of me wonders if I’d have been able to write that story if I’d been in Halifax, considering all the distractions that are a regular part of my life. Vacations give you time to read that book you’ve been wanting to read or do a thousand crossword puzzles or write a letter you’ve been putting off. Vacations can be surprisingly productive.