Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Writing On the Road

Today’s technology has made writing on the road fairly simple. If you have been reading about my writing life over the last few months,  I have not been traveling. I’ll be back on the road again tomorrow for most of this week.  

I have a laptop computer and over the years, I’ve done a great deal of writing on the road.  At times, I’ve written on the airplane. It’s admittedly some hassle to pull out the laptop, ignore the person beside me and begin to write—but I’ve done it and done it successfully.

At other times, I return to my hotel room immediately after an interview session and write the article or book proposal. While the material is fresh in my mind, it is often a great time to get the stories into the computer. If you can find the time to do this type of immediate creation / writing, I recommend it and it often works well for my style of writing.

This past week, I was completing a magazine article with numerous voices (read people that I interviewed for the article). I finished writing the article before I had to get on an airplane and took the computer file with me on the trip. While in the hotel, I edited the article, made the changes to the file then emailed it to my editor so she had it first thing Monday morning. Also I had a short piece which was due for another publication. I wrote this article on the road and sent it to my editor via email and met the deadline. It makes me wonder what we did before we had such options (no need to comment, I did it the old fashion way for many years).

Some times I even resort to writing with pen and paper. Many writers believe they have to have high speed internet access. I’ve had it and it’s OK but not essential.  Over the weekend, I was perfectly content to send my articles to the magazine via my dial-up connection. I keep up with the latest innovations and technology but I certainly don’t march out and purchase it. It’s a delicate balance—having the right tools for your work and writing life—yet not going to extremes and chasing the latest toy or technology. Balance is the key.


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