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Friday, 23 September 2016

Musings on Travel and Writing from Pam Laird

I’ve just been reading if your storyline is stuck, go and sweep the kitchen floor but I’ve gone one better, (at least more pleasurable) I’ve watered, fed and dead-headed all the indoor pot plants. And it’s given me an idea.

Has anyone noticed when travelling, say overseas or even when in one’s own country, that your reading choices change?

On a local break do you now flip through magazines or short stories because they’re easier to digest? In the stress of shortened time frames between moving on or going for a picnic, or moving from the all-purpose studio bach to some peace under a tree, is it easier to just flip through the local newspaper?

What if you’re a writer? Do you make copious notes to use in a future novel? Maybe you make special observations when you pass through a more down and out area on an island or in the ‘we don’t do tourist area’ of a port you’ve never been to before.

In other words, does travel for whatever reason change your thinking in a way that alters your writing vocabulary or enthusiasm or even your interest in the process?

Maybe you’ve been ill, or even disturbingly ill, obviously if you’re in hospital the constant comings and going are disturbing, so we’ll take that as a given and you can neither read nor write. But assuming you’re at home and not in pain, does the time you now have in your lap, change your thinking and consequently your writing?

What about choosing books when you’re laid up? Do you make different choices from say, crime or travel to light romance or humour? Or maybe the other way around? Maybe you prefer something more practical when one day you’ll be back on your feet and into such interests as ‘how to build a tree-house’ or a new gardening plan.

Or is it possible, in these circumstances of travel or health, the genre makes no difference at all. That nothing changes. As one travel greeting card once pronounced, ‘Wherever in the world you end up, there you are.’

Pam Laird

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