I want to travel!

I know, coming from me that’s a bit rich since I’ve only been “home” for six weeks.  But I want to travel.  And I blame it all on other bloggers.

I read a post by Tobias S. Buckell on SFWA’s website yesterday: Rejection and Reinvention and all I could think was, “I want to travel.”  (My thoughts are not always original…)

But just look at this quote:

“…maybe you do need more spark. Maybe you’re just shy of the breakthrough and not able to push on through. If it’s diamond tipped edges you want, then it’s time for you to begin looking to fill your create mental field with uncommon fertilizer….. Save some money and take an expeditionary vacation and visit an uncommon location. Shock your senses.

By this weekend you could be halfway across the world on a 24 hour geographical adventure. Haunt the airline sites for a cheap ticket and do a one day, no hotel, up all night and all until you exhaust yourself trip to somewhere with no planned results on the other side. Lose yourself somewhere and report back on it.”

I could!  I could even use miles so it didn’t really cost me that much money.  (My business class ticket to Prague cost me about $200.).  I so could get away…I could go to Iceland.  Or Vancouver.  Or Brazil.  Or…

But what I really need to do is WRITE.  (Or at least finish this round of edits on this damned novel.  I still read it and like parts of it, but I am so ready for this baby to be somewhere else for a while…)

That article does also recommend writing.  (It’s really not about travel.  That’s just what I wanted to take from it.  Because, you know, I want to travel!)

Here’s a more representative quote:

“No matter what we choose to do to get sparkier, it will still always involve working on making more art…. You may not sell your art, but if you stop submitting it, and putting yourself out there, you guarantee that it will not sell.”

True that.

It doesn’t help that Chuck Wendig also posted about travel this week: 25 Things Writers Should Know About Traveling

A good read.  (So read it.)

Although…I think now is the perfect time to complain a bit.  See, his tip #22:

Ask: “How Would I Write This?”

Here’s a tip that works when traveling but also applies to your day-to-day existence: when you see something, particularly something new or as-yet-unexperienced, imagine how you’d write it out. How would you describe it? What value does it have in a story, to a character, as a motif, or bound up with a theme? Imaginary exercise can be quite fruitful.

It’s good advice.  It really is.

But this is one of those things they don’t tell you when you decide to become a writer–that you’re going to start looking at everything in your life and thinking, “How would I write that?”  Or “Damn, I wish I had a piece of paper so I could jot down some notes on this for later.”

Um, hello?  What happened to living in the moment?  This is your life after all…

But as a writer it’s also all fodder for your future stories.

In How to Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright she recommends videotaping yourself during sex so you can see what things actually look like during sex.  Good advice.

For a writer.  (Not so much for a politician perhaps.)

(And probably better than what most writers might actually do in that scenario….or at least be tempted to do…”um, wait just one second, let me just jot down a note real quick…just hold that thought…be right back…where is that pen?”)

So, I want to travel.  But I kind of want to travel as a non-writer.  I know, that’s horrible.  But I just want to immerse myself in a moment so completely that I forget the rest of the world even exists outside of that moment.  And now that I’ve flipped that writerly switch in my brain that’s even more challenging than it was before.

But the problem with immersing yourself in a moment is that when you get out the other side it’s all kind of fuzzy and hazy and if there are clear images left they’re disjointed.  Sure, you think you remember it.  (I thought I remembered my first skydive.)  But you don’t.  Not really.  (I watched the video a few days later and thought to myself, “Why don’t I remember any of that?”  Seriously, I think my body self-medicates itself…”Oh, we’re jumping out of a plane strapped to a complete stranger?  Here, have some Valium…ah, now we’re all happy and floaty.  Who cares if the ground is approaching at 120 mph…look at the pretty blue sky…”)

It’s the infernal catch-22 of the writer (or any artist, really).  Live the moment or record the moment.

See, this is why they say if you can be anything else you should.  You set yourself up for a lifetime of rejection and judgement and you take yourself out of the moment…Well, that and the general fact that it doesn’t pay all that well, either…Hmmm.  Why do I do this again?

Right, right.  Because I’m crazy.

Oh.  And, as a random added bonus (because it seems it’s Tobias Buckell week for me) another post from Tobias Buckell that I’d bookmarked.  This one entitled: How I used Kickstarter to reboot a book series, and my career (and maybe my life?)  An interesting read.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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