On Driving and Writing

One of the oddest things I’ve noticed is how much a long drive does for my creativity. Seriously, I’ve had moments during my old commutes from Dallas to Fayetteville where I’d have to stop for a while to just sit and write. I’d usually also use that time to eat something as well.

I’d get an idea on the highway, start developing it in my head, and as soon as I was able to stop, I’d be able to throw a good 400-500 words together in half an hour, easily. Maybe it’s because I’m not using my writer brain when I’m driving, or because my brain is thinking about writing to keep me awake and focused, or what. I don’t really know.

However, this has led to an interesting thing where, whenever I’m feeling stuck on something, I’ll get in the car and just drive somewhere. I’ll pick a coffee shop or restaurant or something of note that’s half an hour to an hour’s drive away, and just go. It’s been unusually helpful for some of my projects where I’m not making any progress, or for where I have a rough idea for something but don’t really know what to do from there.

So, to anyone who happens to be reading this stuff, you might consider trying this. I’ve had similar experiences with public transportation, so I don’t think driving is a requisite task, but for me, I spend a good 5-7 hours in the car each week. Anyway, just something I’ve been thinking about and felt like posting.


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