This week’s question: When crafting a new story – what works best for you, laptop, fountain pen, dictation, or longhand?
For me, I write best on a laptop as it is the fastest option to free flow my words. What about you?
Last week’s question: What is your motivation for writing more?
My reply is that I have so many stories tumbling around in my head, I have to keep writing to get them all out. Many of you know I only began ‘writing’ when I came to Canada so I’m now making up for ‘lost’ time! I have always been creative but for whatever reason I had never written ‘stories’ before for the explicit reason of allowing other people to read them. Mandy Eve-Barnett
Before you go on your trip, make a plan for what you’ll actually do while you’re traveling. Be realistic about how much time you’ll actually have to work.
2. Bring the essentials
Condensing an office’s worth of gear, equipment and supplies into a carry-on sized bag. First, start with the most important things.
Laptop: If you have an alternative lightweight portable laptop/tablet take that instead. Remember your charger!
Reference materials: Take the most relevant materials for your planned project.
Notebook and pen: Always have a small notebook and a pen. Ideas for a novel or character can spring up at any time.
3. Back it up
Make sure you back up your work – a flash drive, emailing to yourself or a data saving source.
Take digital copies instead of resource material with you instead of hard copies.
5. Bring travel-writing essentials
Even though you’re traveling light, be sure to bring anything you’ll need to transform your trip into a story including a way to take photos. Having photos can also help when you’re trying to recollect specific details and set a scene when you’re writing later on.
6. Safeguard your gear
Make sure you carry your most important items (like your laptop and backups) with you. Consider travel insurance or checking your current insurance policies (such as homeowner’s, renter’s, or automobile) to see if they’ll cover your valuables.
This is my traveling list:
My laptop & charger
A hard drive to back up
Notebook – which includes notes on my current project (these are in addition to my file folders on my laptop. I also use it for revision notes & narrative additions, page numbers of where I am in the process etc.
Pens and a pencil
Cell phone for photos & charger
Comfortable clothes and warm socks, eye glasses, a bottle of wine & snacks and tea bags (Okay I’m English teabags are a must!)
We normally request a desk & two chairs when we book a room to ensure we both have comfortable areas in which to write. Luckily neither of us needs noise so silence reigns unless we are discussing our day or writing. (No TV required either!)
This coming weekend is not only a long weeked (whoop!) but also when I am spending four wonderful days fully immersed in my writing at Strawberry Creek Retreat. Anticipation is high for my fellow wordsmiths and I. My plan is to read through, revised and to some extent edit my current WIP – Willow Tree Tears. The novel is a cowgirl romance, with the heroine a champion barrel racer, enjoying rodeos and a ranch lifestyle. She finds herself having to choose between an old high school friend who lives a similar horse ranch life, or a suave, handsome wel- traveled Italian. There are numerous plot twists and several other characters and it does include adult content. Currently standing at 25 chapters (50,365 words) – I am aware it requires additional descriptions, dialogue etc. It was my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel so is rough to say the least! For an excerpt go to https://mandyevebarnett.com/current-project-2/
When we attend a writing retreat there are many personal aspirations and goals set – it is a time to have 100% focus on our work but we must decide on what our level of interaction will be within a group retreat. There are simple ‘rules’ that can be set out at the start of the retreat, such as a closed door means no interruptions, meals are taken together, prompts or short workshops will be available, exercise/walks can be taken in a group or solitary – no matter the format you should decide on what works for you.
Vital elements to the retreat are of course your means of writing! Bring your laptop, charger and memory sticks, notebooks, pens and pencils, research material, and any other related material that will assist you with the task in hand. Secondly, think about what you want to achieve within the time limits of the retreat. Make realistic goals so you enjoy the process but are not too exhausted to enjoy sometime away from the computer screen to refresh your mind, body and muse.
My driving force is mainly an idea that develops exponentially in my mind, demanding attention until it is safely on paper or screen. Even if I try to ignore it, there is an unpleasant sick feeling that comes over me and I have to write. My writing is free flow and it works well for me. With my ‘late’ start with this writing lark, I have an added driving force – to get as many stories written as I can!
What is your driving force?
We all need encouragement for our writing and it comes from many sources but having a few nice things surrounding us also helps! So I’m also sharing some great ideas for writers – put them on your Christmas wish list:
This is my favorite – Frida Kahlo’s diary – beautiful. I do possess a few notebooks and journals but hate to ‘spoil’ them by writing in them – stupid I know but they are so beautiful, it seems a shame to ‘deface’ them.
What is your most prized possession? My personal letter from Stephen King is mine. It has pride of place on my writing inspiration wall.