Monday, July 05, 2010

Writing/Working on the Run!/Stephenia

First, I gotta tell Stephenia that she won my previous blog drawing.  Please email me at leannebbb @ aol.com (no spaces) with your snail mail address.  plane

I’m a traveling girl this month -- taking four trips. I know it’s going to be challenging, but I still want to be productive with my writing and stay at least somewhat connected to my book. I’ll share my ideas about how to do that, then I would really appreciate hearing from you. How do you squeeze in some work/writing while traveling?

1. Take my baby laptop. It’s a Sony Vaio that weighs 2.5 lbs. The keyboard is a little squishy, but not too bad for short writing times. I have sometimes been productive writing on a plane.

*Major problem is I hate for people to look over my shoulder. Any suggestions?

2. Set a wimpy goal, such as one or two pages during the flight.

3. Brainstorm scenes before I go and make a list of them so I have some options.

4. Re-read what I’ve written at night before I go to bed.

5. I have two driving trips. I’m hoping I can get someone to drive at least one way, so I can write during that time.

6. During the large family reunion vacation, escape to a library or quiet place and write for an hour or so. (I’m not a fan of being joined at the  hip with fifteen other people 24/7 for 7 days.)

*Suggestions appreciated. Where do you go to write when you’re not at home? Panera’s is too loud.:/

*I also like the idea of noise-cancelling headphones, but don’t want to spend BOSE money. I bought the BOSE ones for my husband for Valentines Day.:) Any recommendations for some less expensive noise-cancelling headphones?

Finally, please share any other tips, strategies, devices you’ve used that help you stay productive while on the road!  I’ll draw a name and send a book! 

I’m headed to Rom Con in Denver this weekend.  If you happen to be there, grab me.  I’m going to be giving away books!

34 comments:

Jane said...

Have fun at RomCon. I know that Sennheiser has some great noise cancelling headphones, but even the cheapest ones cost about $150. I think the library is great place to get some writing done. I've also heard that some authors like to write at Starbucks.

Cindy Gerard said...

yeah for you, Leanne for making the attempt to be productive while on the road. I wish I had some ideas and love yours. looking forward to what others say as I have a HUGE travel month.
Just got back from a 6 day trip and will be home today and tomorrow then also off to romcon - yea - can't wait to see you!
But then I'm only home 3 other days until August 2nd. I, frankly, don't see any productivity in my immediate future but would sure love to figure out a way ...

Playground Monitor said...

Not sure how much the BOSE ones cost, but I bought some retractable, sound-reducing ear buds for my iPod at Brookstone last year and they are quite good. When I go to a coffee shop to write, I take the iPod and play instrumental music from a CD titled "Creativity." It's supposed to stimulate the brain to be creative. Does it work? Not sure. But I've listened to it so much it's almost like white noise now.

Tips for staying productive on the road? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Surely you jest!

Marilyn

krisgils33 said...

Audio-Technica and Sony are two alternatives that I've heard are comparable to the Bose. I have the Bose, but I travel ALOT and on some very long plane trips, so it was definitely worth it, in my opinion.

Good luck and have fun on your trips. I'm not a big fan of family vacations, but you can always say you are going for a walk or going to take a shower and then just hide out somewhere with your laptop!

Cindy Gerard said...

Trying this again as I posted once already but blogger must have eaten it.
I'm anxious to see the suggestions as I'm at a loss myself. I'm so NOT productive when I travel and I'm traveling all but 5 days this month.
Yikes!

Leanne said...
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Leanne said...

Me too Cindy! Thanks for reposting, although I was hoping for some of your amazing words of wisdom.

Helen Brenna said...

I have a difficult time writing any place but at home, so I'm not much help.

I have used those cheap little beige ear plugs (the orange ones are too hard) from time to time even here at home, so they might work for you in a coffee shop. They take a while to get used to, but they do work. Ever try a library?

The thing that works the best for me is saving non-writing work for travel or out of town stuff. Updating my website, publicity, emails, editing work, etc...

Debra Dixon said...

Leanne--

Plan to arrive at airports early. I find I'm never productive at home,knowing I have to watch the clock. Just go early, put your back to the window or the wall. That's usually where the plugs are too. Then you can zone out and get some writing/typing done before you're forced onto the plane and in smaller seats.

Take a window seat because you only have one person who could possibly look at your laptop.

I do write in the car from time to time.

Try a different writing technique than you normally use so that you don't feel "unsettled" with the routine. For instance try blocking scenes instead of final draft writing.

Traveling is tough!

Michele Hauf said...

Wow, you're going to be busy, Leanne! I don't travel much, but my only advice would be to relax, enjoy the ride, and don't worry if you don't accomplish what you want, because it would be to stressful trying to work all that writing in!

Leanne said...

Marilyn, thanks for the comment. You'll have to tell me more about that CD "Creativity". I got one that's supposed to stimulate the brain with tones, but it's disguised by the sound of falling rain...which makes me feel like I need to go to the restroom.

Leanne said...

Kris, THANKS for the recommendations! I will look into those other brands.

Leanne said...
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Leanne said...
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Christie Ridgway said...

I just use my regular earbuds with my iPod and not that much "other" noise filters through. I also use a couple of "brain" tracks...Kelly Howell's "Increase Creativity" is one, another is titled "Deep Focus," I think. I like them.

Also, I usually have a soundtrack for each book. The songs I choose can usually bring me into the right mindspace.

Your suggestions are great! Don't know how you can get ppl not to read over your shoulder, though. I think they have special things that attach onto the screen's of laptops for that, but maybe not one sized for your baby.

lois greiman said...

Try to remember to have fun, Leanne. I find I do better if I set a larger amount of time aside every other day or so and give myself a break sometimes. Otherwise I get frustrated trying to work within a twenty minute time slot.

Good luck and have fun.

Cindy Gerard said...

urg - blogger is nuts today. now BOTH my posts show up. sorry for the double header

KylieBrant said...

I feel your pain. I had company for 12 solid days. Got zilch done for writing. I am very productive in a car when dh is driving, though. Flights are great for editing and brainstorming. I sometimes sneak back into the motel room for an hour or two of writing.

Sam said...

Hey all!
They make privacy screens for laptops and electronics that you either place in front of your screen, or a film you put on your screen. It makes it so anyone not looking directly at the screen (from the users angle) can not read it. You can just search laptop privacy screen. In case this lets you add a link, here's an example:
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/SDP/Privacy_Filters/?WT.mc_id=www.3m.com/computerfilter

I'm not a writer, but I try to schedule some time for me to do things which need concentration in the morning, because that's when my brain is functioning best. It's my time to accomplish stuff, and the kids know if they have questions they have to go to the sitter, unless it's an emergency. I make no apologies for it, because if I do it then I can do it in an hour or two depending on the work, otherwise it can drag on forever as I'm easily distracted. :)
Good luck with your writing! Enjoy your travel.
Sam

Kathleen Eagle said...

I can brainstorm in the car on long road trips, but I've never been able to get much done on a plane. I'm interested in the brain tracks--making notes as we speak. Enjoy your trips, Leanne. Safe travel!

Leanne said...

Jane, I'm really leaning toward the library if I can find one. I may give Starbucks a try, but only if I take earplugs!

Leanne said...

Helen, isn't it weird that I didn't even consider ear plugs?!! I immediately went to the more expensive when ear plugs may just work. I'll give it a try.

Leanne said...

Debra! All good suggestions! I love them. What do you mean by "blocking scenes"? This sounds like a good idea!

Leanne said...

Thanks Christie. I want to look into that creativity track you mentioned!

Leanne said...

Lois, excellent plan. Every other day. That will work especially well with the family vacay.

Leanne said...

Michele, thanks for the advice. I'll tell myself that after EACH trip!:)

Leanne said...

Thanks Kathleen! I want to look into the brain tracks too. My brain needs all the help it can get!lol

Leanne said...

Sam, thanks for the link and also for the early morning advice. I'll bear that in mind. Good for you keeping the discipline to get things done in the am so you're not feeling bummed all day long.

jeanette8042 said...

I head to a Starbucks or any nearby bookstore to work or just have some alont time. Love those places! Have a wonderful trip!

Maire Aine said...

Have a great time in Denver. Denver is beautiful this time of he year. Headphones don't always work. I've tried them with music blaring and trying to write but someone will always wants to talk. I find peace and tranquility when I pack up the laptop and find happiness at the Public Library.

Keri Ford said...

heh. I was on a plane about 6 weeks or so ago. I was editing and I can't remember what was going on in the scene, but the heroine was frequently using the p-word of the man's down-yonder bits.

young'ish guy was next to me and I was hunching forward, doing my best to nonchantely cover my sceen as I kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling...

Playground Monitor said...

The Creativity CD is part of a 4-CD set by Dr. Lee R. Bartel. It's put out by SonicAid. The CDs are music to enhance concentration, music to promote sleep, music to inspire creativity and music to improve relaxation. I use the last one a lot to help me chill out. I have a couple Kelly Howell tracks too (I think Christie mentioned her). I try to avoid anything with falling rain for the very reason you mentioned. ;-)

Marilyn

Michele Benard said...

well my advice is find something y like to write to and listen to that. I like to go to the beach to write but since there is no beach in CO maybe yu can find a quiet corner in a park away from the playgrounds. I havn't lived in Denver for many many years I wish I could offer more Ideas of where to go there.

Have fun at RomCon

Sam said...

My husband runs a company for these guys who own a major chunk of the world :) and he says they use the privacy screens and that you cannot read anything from their computers, even if you're sitting next to them. DH is a techno geek, so I trust his opinion, if that helps. :)
Maybe one of the computer stores sells them and you could go take a look. Now that I think about it, maybe I should get one for my Kindle! :)