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HOW TO: Fix Writer’s Block on the Road

by Globetrooper Todd | 2 Responses
Writer's Block

I’ve had writer’s block for the past week and it’s driving me nuts. I love to write, and I want to write, but, the, words, just, won’t, flow. I keep starting new pieces, but after just one paragraph, I give up in frustration. Hmmm, what to do?

Then it dawned on me. If my problem is not being able to write, why not write about ‘not being able to write’? Yeah! Surely that will fix it. Fingers crossed, just in case.

It’s Not Me It’s You

I like Chiang Mai, I really do. The people are hospitable, the city packs charm, and there are lots of long-term travellers. From all the cities I’ve lived in, it’s by far the cheapest too.

But herein lies why Chiang Mai is to blame for my writer’s block. She’s just too easy.

I know that’s what I wanted, but my days are becoming a blur. Every day I find myself waking up, going out for a nice breakfast, getting lots of work done, catching up with other travellers, and doing it all again.

Chiang Mai, stop making life so easy!

Writers Need Adventure For Fuel

A writer needs adventure just like a fire needs fuel. In India for example, it’s an adventure just to cross the street. Not so in Chiang Mai. Things are so normal that I think they’re driving me bonkers.

I’m not the only one either. Chiang Mai is like a backpacker boneyard. Backpackers from far and wide come for a few days, but never leave. It’s an epidemic, it really is.

To be fair, I remember having the same problem in Cusco and Montreal. When the routine became too comfortable, the creative juices evaporated leaving a nasty receptor-blocking crud. I also remember that status quo was restored after the simple step of getting up to some mischief.

A Litmus Test for Mischief

I really think writer’s block is a litmus test for mischief. The less mischief you’re up to, the greater the risk of writer’s block. It only makes sense that I change tack, at least for a few days, and get my hands dirty with some exploration.

If nothing else, this will be a good experiment. Tomorrow I’m going to find a motorbike. Then on Saturday I’m going to ride out into the abyss. Well, it’s just Thailand, but being cooped up in the Old City makes it seem like the abyss. I’ll keep you posted and let you know if it works out. If I don’t post by Tuesday, send out a search party. Thanks :)

Posted in | July 7th, 2011

2 Responses to HOW TO: Fix Writer’s Block on the Road

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Settling into a comfort zone is not necessarily best for creativity and writing. Do you think that surrounding yourself with other travelers/bloggers might be somewhat of a hindrance as well? I’ve found my most wild stories are the ones when I’m off on my own pursuing areas that are a bit off the beaten track.

    • Hey Samuel,

      Yeah, I’m not sure about being around other travel bloggers. I like chatting with them and maybe if we got together and did something interesting we’d have something to write about. I think it’s more just being in one comfortable place and not moving.

      I just travelled to Laos and had a riot of a time up here. Blew by writer’s block cobwebs straight out the window. I just wrote a post about the cray experience here:

      I called it “Holy Duck! There’s A Fish in My Handbag!’

      I’d really like to go on more little expeditions with other bloggers, like the train trip we did around India with 20 people. It was impossible not to have blogger fodder on a trip like that.

      That’s also why we built our WordPress plugin, so we could all see where we are and catch up to do nutty things.

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