How Travelling Can Inspire You To Write Creatively
All writers face writer’s block at some point or other. We suddenly lack inspiration, experience self-doubt, or no longer feel passionate about the story we’re trying to tell. Most of us write because we love to, so it can be frustrating and disheartening when we can’t seem to put words on the page. How can we overcome this condition?
Travelling is a great way to conquer writer’s block. It frees our minds and opens our eyes to new places, people, and stories.
Writer’s block is not limited to novelists; whether you’re a fiction writer, content creator for a website, or wordsmith, you’ll hit a wall when you least expect it.
If you’re wondering how to become a better writer or constantly looking for ways to be inspired, this may be a sign that you’re in a creative rut. You can either struggle to climb out of it or step away from your desk and discover a different route to inspiration.
Find out why travelling can get your creative juices flowing and how you can make the most of your trip to enrich your writing.
Explore New Places To Heighten Your Senses
We tend to get into a monotonous routine during our typical day-to-day lives. For example, we walk by the same buildings, sit at the same desk, and taste the same coffee; we experience these things until we no longer truly “experience” them.
If we become immune to what’s around us, how can we write holistic content that is authentic and satisfying for the reader?
We need to experience life to be able to write about it. The more experiences we have, the more we are equipped to write about various scenarios and aptly describe the world.
This is why you should travel. Give yourself a change of scenery. It will force your brain to take note of what’s around you, which will invigorate you and make your senses come alive.
Our most evocative sense is smell! Different scents are linked to different memories, so you can’t afford to forget about this when you write. To effectively put your readers in the moment, capture the scene by describing what it smells like.
So, when you walk around the streets of India, note the myriad smells. Breathe in the spicy aromas – the cardamom, turmeric, ginger, and nutmeg.
Activate all of your other senses, too.
Taste new foods. Try the street food you might usually avoid – the salmon masala curry, creamy payasam, dahi puri.
Bathe in the heat, feeling it radiate from the sun and the people around you.
Purchase a silk saree. Closely admire the fabric’s intricate pattern and pick out the array of bright colours.
In short, travelling helps you be present – to live in the moment. It fully stimulates your senses, enabling you to add authenticity to your writing. This will captivate your readers and allow them to experience a taste of a different location, perspective, and life.
Use Travelling To Face Your Fears
Travelling is about leaving what’s familiar by exploring new places. You should also see it as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.
Face your fears.
Doing so will give you an adrenaline rush and help you to feel free – fearless! This will feed your mind, boosting your motivation and enhancing your ability to focus.
If you’re afraid of water, go on a boat tour in South-East Asia. The jade-coloured waters at Halong Bay in Vietnam are worth overcoming your fear for. Explore the caves and stop off at the floating villages. Talk to the people you meet. You’ll learn things that’ll bring colour and authenticity to your writing.
Scared of heights? Climb Conic Hill, which rises above Loch Lomond and offers inspiring water views.
If you can’t imagine anything more terrifying than sleeping outside in the middle of nowhere, camp in New Zealand to breathe in the clean air and listen to the chorus of insects.
The more discoveries you make on your journeys, the more you’ll find in your work. Equally, if you successfully face your fears, you’ll be braver in your writing.
Great writing isn’t accomplished by playing it “safe”. You must push yourself to create something that your readers appreciate.
Keep A Travel Journal
A common mistake many writers make is that they think they’ll remember every great idea, and yet, a few weeks later, when finally they come to write it down, it’s gone – their great idea has vanished into thin air.
So, to prevent this, take a notebook with you everywhere you go. This practice is even more critical when you’re travelling.
Keep a travel journal to record what you discover. While hiking in Alaska, there might be something about a mountain you want to remember or the way the water flows in a creek. Whatever comes to mind, write it down.
Record in your journal your feelings the very moment you’re transfixed by something – write down the extraordinary, beautiful, awe-inspiring, eerie, ethereal.
Also, remember to write about the unique and odd things you find. These unusual nuggets of information may be invaluable to you later. You can make a fantastical piece of content more realistic by including surreal aspects of your life experiences.
Fully Immerse Yourself In New Cultures
Why do people travel if they’re not going to immerse themselves in the place’s culture?
Travelling not only boosts creativity, it also strengthens character. It helps us to discover or even rediscover ourselves and our passions. By delving into other cultures, we realise how deeply rooted we are in our own and the values we have, which may be vastly different to others.
As a writer, you will miss out on so much if you don’t immerse yourself in the culture.
Expose yourself to new languages, religions, and customs – doing this every time you visit a place will help you to see the world differently; you’ll gain new perspectives, planting seeds for fresh ideas.
Absorb the history of a place. Discover the people who lived and died there. Learn about the famous and the infamous. Find out the stories behind the architecture.
Take it all in, the good and the bad. You’ll develop a broader and more accurate view of the world, making your writing more honest and unbiased.
Write In Public
When you travel to different areas of the world, you’ll most likely be using various modes of transport, i.e. plane, train, boat. There will probably be a lot of waiting around, too! Use these moments as opportunities to write in public.
Writing in a public space, for example, on a train or in a cafe, anywhere you can hear the buzz of many people, stimulates the brain differently than when working in a quiet space. It can make you more aware and present, enhancing the words you put on the page.
There’s always expectancy in the air at train stations and airports, a tangible excitement for the unknown. This can help to heighten your adrenaline levels, firing up your brain and sparking new ideas.
Seeing new faces and ‘people watching’, noticing how they interact and the words they use can help you add new layers to your writing.
As mentioned previously, experiencing the world with all of your senses strengthens your writing, and nothing will bring as much texture and colour to your words as writing something while you experience it first-hand.
Don’t Forget To Read
Another great thing about travelling is that it gives us a chance to do plenty of reading.
Like any skill, if we want to be good at it, we need to hone it. While writing as often as possible is essential to develop our craft, reading is another critical part of becoming a great writer.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” —Stephen King.
Most of us write because we love words and the act of creating something unique from them. The words we put together become the root of our content, whether a story, article, or website copy. They anchor the piece and enable it to come to fruition.
This love of words most likely came from reading, so we must regularly return to this first passion.
To learn more about words and how to arrange them to grow into something inspirational, entertaining, gripping, or educational, you need to understand how other writers have achieved this.
Read content that is similar to what you wish to create. For example, if you want to write stories of a particular genre, then read stories of that genre. Read work by authors that inspire you.
Reading will fuel your motivation. It will help to build your vocabulary, increasing your mental toolkit for when you write. Reading will also help you to find your own ‘writer’s voice’.
There are several benefits of reading on the go, and there are many different formats to choose from, such as eBooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks, making reading while travelling easy.
How To Travel The World
The key is setting a goal before you start travelling the world. Which areas are you most interested in visiting? How many trips a year are you able to do? What can you afford? Even if your initial budget is low, write it down. It’s best to have a clear understanding of your finances to think about where you can cut back.
Research destinations and plan your itinerary, comparing prices of flights, hotels, insurance, and so on. Pick a destination that will boost your mood and inspire you the most. If you like the heat of the desert, vast beaches, and jaw-dropping mountains, then your first trip for writing motivation should be Africa.
Remember, whatever your estimate is for a trip, pad your budget; put more money aside than you think you’ll need to account for any unexpected events.
If you can’t physically travel, whether because of money, work, family, or a physical reason, then travel virtually.
Explore YouTube, TikTok or Pinterest. While it’s true that you won’t be able to fully immerse yourself in your five senses, you’ll still be able to immerse yourself in the different cultures and get an idea of the textures of a place.
Support your research by reading books and movies based in specific locations around the world.
As mentioned, reading helps improve our writing, but it also ignites our imagination, transporting us to places we’ve never been.
Watching movies will help you understand different languages and dialects, enabling you to create more fluid and authentic dialogue. Films will also inspire you on the mood and theme you want to express similarly in your work.
Additionally, if you can’t travel for whatever reason, nothing stops you from creating a journal containing the memories of your previous holidays.
Once you start thinking about specific trips, you’ll be surprised at what you remember, what you were eating at that restaurant on the corner, how the sun felt on your face, what the waiter looked like, the clothes you were wearing – these are all critical details that can add depth to your writing!
If you need a change of scenery, visit local towns and mix with new crowds. Sit in the park with a notebook for a couple of hours. The feel of the grass beneath your legs and the warm breeze in your hair will help to invigorate you, boosting your creative juices.
Until you can travel far, travel locally. Embrace adventure.
To conclude, travelling inspires and motivates us, helping to build our character and develop the heart and soul of our writing.
Travelling has creative benefits not only for writers but for artists, producers, and other creators, too.
Website content writers should strike a balance between fluidity, creativity, and facts to ensure their audience can easily absorb their content and that they’re engaged, inspired, and educated. Valuable content doesn’t just come through research but also through experiencing the world.
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