August 17, 2010

Have Notebook, Will Travel

Many writers take their laptops everywhere, even on vacation, but some of us like to travel light (says she who crams clothes into suitcases, but it's all about layers, isn't it?). In preparation for a wedding back East, I decided against trying to fit my iBook into carryon luggage and opted instead to work on a hard copy.

Normally, I don't print until a draft is finished, but since I'm done revising the first 50-odd pages of my MG fantasy, it seemed like a good time to look at them off-screen. So, I'll be mailing the ms. to my destination–a house with no computer access, by the way–along with red pens, Post-Its, and a notebook for comments and the inevitable rewrites.

How about you? Do you write when you travel?

BTW: If you missed last week's incredible WriteOnCon, check out Marissa's daily roundup over at Adventures in Children's Publishing:
Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:


  1. I fail miserably at traveling light! I travel with a hard copy AND take my laptop. I love the uninterrupted use of airplane time to read and edit my hard copy. But I'm hopelessly addicted to corresponding via the internet.
    One time I traveled without the laptop and had something like withdrawal symptoms. :-)

  2. I don't work on my WIP when I travel, but I do journal. And many of my travel observations make it into my work. Even if I have access to a computer, when I journal, I use pen and paper. The act of physically writing down observations allows me to etch events onto my memory in a way typing into the computer does not.

  3. I've taken hard copy with me before on trips. A couple of times it worked out well, with me reading through and marking changes. But other times, the place and people were too engrossing to be spending time on work. I'm sure you'll find a flow.

  4. Rahma: The Internet is so addicting, I'm actually looking forward to a break from it.

    VR: I haven't written with pen and paper for ages. It does force your mind to deal with events differently, doesn't it?

    Tricia: Thanks. If I have time to work on it, great. If not, at least the option was there.

  5. I don't travel often, but when I do, I always take my laptop with me. I always intend to write while I'm away, but very rarely will I actually accomplish anything.

  6. Jessica: Welcome!
    That's why my laptop is staying home. Don't want to schlep it through three different airports and then not use it.

  7. Though I don't take my laptop when I am travelling for just few days, I take my notebook. Then I can write as and when the time permits.
    For longer holidays, a laptop is a must. Else the withdrawal symptoms will kill me.

  8. Rachna: As long as I have a hard copy and a notebook, I think I'll be fine. Interesting that you're the second commenter to mention "withdrawal" if you're away from the laptop. ;-)

  9. Hi, Kathryn!

    I travel light when it comes to clothes. Everything I want to bring has to fit into a 22-inch and large purse. But I bring at least 3 books, my netbook, and a very small spiral notebook for on the fly writing.

  10. I don't travel much but when I do, it's hard copy for me, too.

  11. Hi, Stephanie! I'll be fitting everything into a 21-inch suitcase and briefcase (which will also hold my purse). Not sure how many books I want to bring. Definitely one by Patricia McKillip.

    Catherine: I was going to mail the MS, but on second thought I decided to take it with me so I can work on it in-flight.


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