It’s all about the Journey

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 9.03.44 AMTravelling is like writing a book. It takes you in unexpected directions – brings surprising joy and throws in a few obstacles along the way.

My latest trip to Nevada as part of the SCBWI Nevada Mentorship Program has been an amazing experience.  I’ve reconnected with old friends, and in the snow-covered mountains and sandy hills of Nevada, I’ve fired up my inspiration again.

The illustrators

The illustrators

A quiet night at the haunted hotel

A quiet night at the haunted hotel

There’s nothing like spending time with an enthusiastic group of illustrators and writers (plus the odd ghost) to get you delving deep into your stories again.


We stayed at ‘ haunted’ St Mary’s Art Centre – and it certainly had a vibe. A great setting for a story.

So I guess that’s the theme of this week’s post. If your writing feels stale and you can’t bear to look at that manuscript you’ve already reworked at least ten drafts of, take a break. Change the scenery.

IMAG6340IMAG6218IMAG6194IMAG6188Go somewhere new to stimulate your senses.  Somewhere the air is different, the roads don’t look the same as where you live, somewhere with new sights, sounds and scents.

And when you gather your travel memories together, it’s kind of like getting your storyline back under control. You take the best pieces, discard the extraneous detail and only keep the parts that are most powerful.

You retain the things that are memorable, keep the vision and the experience in your head. It’s something to apply to your characters too.  When a publisher or agent reads through the ‘slush pile’, it must be your character that sticks in their mind.

In much the same way that landscape has distinguishing features, characters do too.


The view from the bedroom window of our ‘spooky’ room.

Our spooky room

Our spooky room

So if your writing has hit the brick wall, try to think of it as an adventure – a journey that will take you to memorable places that you wouldn’t otherwise visit.

Enjoy the ride.

Happy writing:)


11 thoughts on “It’s all about the Journey

  1. This post captured exactly how I feel…I don’t hate my manuscript and I want to help my characters to their happy (or otherwise) ending but writing at the moment feels like walking through quick sand. This is great advice, I’m definitely going to try a change of scenery.

  2. That’s exactly how I was feeling. Quicksand is a great way to describe it when you feel like getting through your novel is hard work. And often you want to finish it, but you just can’t seem to get there.

    I’d definitely recommend a change of scenery to give you a fresh approach to your work. It certainly worked for me:)

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