Balancing Writing and Acquiring New Ideas


I got a great piece of fan mail this week. It happens from time to time, but this one was especially well written and I’m sure I’ll use part of it on a testimonial page someday.

But here’s the thing. Travel writers are a bit counter cultural. Salmon with pens and paper. While on one hand it seems like a fun and glamorous occupation, social acceptance in conventional circles can be difficult. So when travel writers connect, and it doesn’t happen with each one, it can sometimes feel strongly kindred. I got that feeling this week.

So, FanBoy and I started a correspondence and here is what I could relate to:

“yeah going out can be good for sure – just when i rebuke it i spend an awesome night hanging out with a wonderful friend that really makes me think about life and myself and passion and whats important and everything and im reminded that we’re social beings and it is engaging in interaction and challenge with other people that most often gives you motivation and renews your faith in life and yourself. i mean, when writing, i dont get the best ideas sitting in front of my computer thinking of great ideas. i get them when im on the subway (i live in NY) or out at dinner peoplewatching or overhearing conversations. BUT because i am so often given to temptation, i need to discipline myself becuase for me, hanging out with friends has often been an escape from sitting down and putting pen to paper.”

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Hello. Are we twins? No, of course not. But it is comforting to hear that there is another writer who struggles with the very heart of my main challenge—balance.

It’s easy for me to say do both, and much harder for me to practice what I preach. But the thing about Written Road, is that we’re doing it together. The tall ladder, the great climb, the daily commitment to the craft as well as the daily forgiveness for the to-do list left at the end of the day. I don’t want to spend too much time beating myself up for what I haven’t done, because that means I’m spending energy on something negative, when I could be using the same time and energy for something positive. Like reaffirming life and love with friends over a Mediterranean dinner while sitting on pillows and smoking a hookah.

Today my goal is to kick some arse on the backlog of reading, project leads, communication, and writing that is piling up on my shoulders. And after that’s accomplished, I’ll be able to enjoy the dinner I have planned.

Live a full life.
Write about it.
And for heaven’s sake, make time to laugh.