For the first time in a long while, I don’t have any trips planned for the immediate future. I’m waiting to hear from a couple of residencies, and of course I plan to go up to Charlottesville for Christmas, but otherwise nothing. No need to think about carry-ons or getting my car checked over or any of the other myriad things that have to be taken care of before a trip.
I’m curious to see whether staying in one place for a bit will help or hinder my writing. One of my favorite things in the world to do is plan for a trip. (Just ask my friend Rachel. She’ll tell you how I obsessively planned for our trip a couple of years ago to Anam Cara, a writer’s retreat in Ireland. Or ask my daughters about our vacation to Hawaii. I made a spreadsheet for that one.) Of course, travel planning is also one of my best distractions, a great avoidance trick when I get to a tough place in my writing. Will I be more or less productive sitting still?
Change is usually a good thing for my writing. I find myself less tied to reality when my reality keeps shifting. But I can always go to a café to write if I need a change of scenery, or drive five minutes to the beach. And perhaps without spending time worrying about whether to check a bag or take a carry-on, I can worry about whether the protagonist in my novel would really toss his boss into a lake, or whether he would just want to.
That said, I’m still waiting for word on those residencies, and I am looking at writing conferences for 2012, so maybe I should start checking airfare and average temperatures now…