Creative Writing and the Need for Adventure

Taking a little time out to see the world helps to widen a writer's resources.

I believe adventure is vital for most creative writers (other than those geniuses which can create worlds all their own without ever stepping out their own front door). I know that wanderlust, a term coined by the Germans, lies deep down inside many of us. Satisfying that need, however, does not need to feel greedy and pointless. The quest for seeing what exists beyond your front door is an essential human desire, one that should be met with enthusiasm.

After saving my money and biding my time, I was finally able to go on the trip of a life time. My fiance and I traveled over 5,000 miles by car in less than a month, stopping and camping to take in beautiful vistas, sleeping in the car when we could drive no more, and seeing the sites that will make their way into every story I will ever tell. Traveling, for me and many other creative writers, is just as important as a sharp pencil and a clean legal pad.

When describing a scene or reaching deep within for a metaphor, I was once limited to the things I had seen in my little, Midwestern US bubble. Through each city we traveled, however, I found new sites, smells, sounds, and people that intrigued me to no end. With these new places and experiences in hand, I began to think far outside of my own box.

Writers who have run out of inspiration, are stuck on a troublesome chapter, or who simply want to write with a fresh voice should consider traveling as a cure for writers ills. The tapestry of humanity and nature is likely to break the so called “writer's block” almost instantly. Jotting down notes, keeping mental tabs on ideas, and taking pictures throughout a trip can lead to a large amount of content later on.

Although it felt at times that I could use a translation agency to understand the locals of a certain region, I discovered a commonality at the base of human nature. Each person in each culture that I encountered was struggling for survival, looking for companionship, and generally hoping to be noticed. OneHourTranslation might have been helpful at the pizza place in the south of Boston, but by identifying hand gestures and general tone of voice, I could understand most of the people for thousands of miles in any direction.

I am most certainly not finished traveling, and it is likely that I will never be. Traveling helps us see outside of our own little worlds, helps us expand our thoughts through encountering other cultures and other ways of living. From time to time, creative writers from all genres should trade in their notebooks for a passport and a few bags of luggage.