Writing while on the roadSince my first book came out in September, I've spent a lot of time on the road for promotional trips or for my duties as a regional director on RWA's board of directors. Trips can wreck havoc on our writing schedules if we let them, but it's also possible to stay productive while on the road.
If you're driving, use the driving time to brainstorm what comes next in the book you're currently writing or to develop new story ideas.
If you're traveling by plane, bus or train, bring your laptop and/or notebook and pen. Write new scenes while you're waiting for your mode of conveyance to arrive or while you're in transit. Last week, I took the train from Virginia to New York, then from New York back to Washington, D.C. During the Virginia to NYC stretch, I caught up on reading my Romance Writers' Report, our professional journal. From NYC to D.C., I (along with probably 90% of the rest of the train car I was in) plugged in my laptop and worked for three hours. You could tell it was a popular route for professionals since all the seats had power outlets next to them. Everyone was making the most of that three hours of travel time so it wasn't wasted.
I also have WiFi on my laptop so that I can keep up with e-mail while I'm away. I read and delete at every opportunity while I'm traveling so that I'm not overwhelmed with e-mail when I get back home. This can even be accomplished in small time chunks when you return to your hotel room after a day full of meetings.
Even if you don't have a laptop or other keep-in-touch gadgets, the ol' pen and paper fallback is all you need to write up scenes, brainstorm title ideas, capture story concepts you might otherwise forget. I had an out-of-the-blue story idea while in my hotel a couple of night's ago, so the Marriott notepad in the room came in handy. It was exciting enough to make me go online and request a research book from my local library so that it'll be there waiting for me when I arrive home. Often, the sites to which you travel trigger new ideas you might not have thought about without the trip.
So, days spent traveling don't have to be lost days as far as story production goes. You just have to commit to maintaining your a semblance of your normal writing schedule and not writing off those days.
If you're traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, stay safe. And stay productive! :)