Summer is prime vacation time for most of us, and for me, it’s also prime writing inspiration time.
There are the usual thoughts on this, that getting outside of your normal environment can help spark creativity, and exposure to new things does the same. But I find that any sort of travel, even if it’s to places I know well, can be inspiring in multiple ways.
For example, a recent trip to Washington, D.C. familiarized me with a part of the town I hadn’t really experienced before, and added new depth to my knowledge of the city, which is useful. Details–from coffee shops to what people are wearing, to traffic patterns–can make their way into future novels and pieces, making my imaginary store of places richer. (There was one restaurant in particular that I loved). This is also when keeping a journal comes in handy. I have an instant place to record my observations and details I want to keep in mind.
For new cities, of course, there’s always much more that I’ve never seen before. When I go to Charleston in a month, I’m fully expecting that I’ll be writing a lot in my journals about the city and details about the people and places we see.
I always get the itch to write when I travel. Usually it’s in my journal but if I have my laptop with me, sometimes I’ll do sketches or write the first few paragraphs of what I hope will be a larger piece. The larger piece may not appear, but just the practice of writing regularly can be reinvigorated by a new setting and new experiences.
Do you notice your creativity grows when you travel? Tell me about it in the comments!