A while back my husband and I enjoyed a holiday in Hilton Head with friends. We rode in the back seat of their car for two days down and two days back, a situation which was fine, except that we had to entertain ourselves. Usually when we go on this trek, we switch drivers every couple of hours. Not so this time. I was fortunate to have my iPad charged up and ready to help keep me engaged. Here is what I wrote at one point:
An iPad in the backseat for a long trip can make the miles fly by. It’s like slipping on that eagle’s wings and letting go of the road’s tedium. I lose myself as I catch the updraft of imagination, floating over the miles in fresh air, free-falling. My breath held, I urge my words to surge from my fingertips onto the page before the batteries die. Mine and my iPad’s.
Well, it’s not Pulitzer stuff but you can see my thoughts became fanciful and I enjoyed just mucking about with words and sounds. Surely this is one of the best things about writing. Not to mention how losing myself in the words can fill hours and hours of time in complete delight. I forgot about my right butt muscle that I’d pulled in a freak accident the day we left for home. I moved into my head and let the words captivate my thoughts, edging out the drone of the tires on the road, the horns of the passing semis, and the sheer boredom of sixteen hours sitting in one spot in a car.
Whether this bit of prose is anything that will go anywhere is doubtful, but I did take my right brain out for a ride and loved it. I also wrote three lists: one of things to do, another of things I didn’t want to do but must, and a third of dreams worthy of a bucket list. And a couple of blog posts, and emails, and plans for our next vacation. I’m still referencing those lists and pulling things from them to shape into writing. Amazing.
What do you do when stuck in a similar situation? Do you take out your smartphone and play games? Or do you jot down character traits as you observe the people around you? (That’s a favorite one of mine.) Consider leaving a comment with your solitary writing-oriented secrets.