The Travelling Writer

I’ve travelled between three continents over the last four months, staying in seven countries, sleeping in beds and bathtubs, on couches and on tiles. 2014 is set to be a year of travel and adventure, and the beauty of being a freelance writer/editor is that I can take my office with me wherever I go. I have found, however, that it’s taken some time to settle into being unsettled; to put myself into a routine when every day is mine to write as I wish. It’s funny; when I worked full-time, I would have loved the opportunity to be completely free to set my own schedule, but now I realise that having no structure has actually made me less productive and efficient with my time than when I had to be very disciplined in the midst of a very busy life. In moving around and having no fixed office, I have a mobile office of sorts- a set of essential items that I take to each location. The tools of my trade, as I travel, are my laptop and phone (along with a universal adaptor plug), a small lined notebook, a large unlined book, pen, highlighter, pencil, a few books that I’m currently reading, and a current writing magazine. I wish that I’d brought a calendar, and that I’d use the diary and week planner I did bring! If I had my own permanent office, I’d love a beautiful and large desk, near a window, with a library. But thousands of books and heavy furniture is less convenient to travel with, so for now it’s the laptop and notebooks!

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8 thoughts on “The Travelling Writer

  1. I can totally relate. I spent years stuck in an office daydreaming of having the freelance wings of freedom & now that I do, self-discipline is an absolute must. Also it turns out I have to work longer and harder than I ever did in an office! But how good is it to be doing what you love every day?!

    1. Well said Jade! It is SO good to be doing what I love! Even travelling, reading, visiting attractions all count as research! It’s a dream. I’m also learning to be kind to myself, because I’m only a little way in to actually trying to make this work as a profession, and with such a drastic change it’s bound to take a little time to get myself into a good working pattern. Did you go freelance gradually or also quite suddenly? How did you find the adjustment, & how long did it take you to feel as though you were set up properly?

  2. I’m a freelance web/graphic designer (LOVE IT). I’m still a newbie as well, I’ve only been doing it for about 6 months full-time.

    There was a crazy transition period when I was finishing up my day job; for about 2 months I had enough freelance work to be working it full-time, but was still working my full-time office job. My grand plan was leave gradually, but I really had too much work on to do that so I completely resigned from my job of 5 years and went for it.

    The adjustment made me really nervous to begin with – in response, I was super strict with my schedule for a couple of months. Inevitably, I became quite lax/lazy/disorganised for a while. I think a big part of it was motivation. The freedom starting out is nauseatingly wonderful, but the isolation set in pretty quick.

    I think now I’ve reached a happy median (or is it ‘happy medium’? Who knows? Both make sense! Haha). I work a minimum of two or three DAYS (which I decide at the beginning of the week) and the rest is done at night. For those 2/3 days, I usually work in my mates home office – he is also a freelancer. Working together has helped us both heaps. We’re doing our own work, being our own bosses, but the company really does increase productivity.

    It’d be easier to set strict hours for myself, but I think it’s important to embrace the flexibility of freelancing – it’s a completely different way of living!

    Have you read ‘Quitter’? Written by Jon Acuff.

    (Sorry for the ESSAY!)

  3. That is incredible reading an experience from a writer that has an environment completely opposite from me! With me being young (and broke), a laptop is something unaffordable to me right now, so every writing venture or project I take is in a windowless computer office that leaves no room for inspiration or fresh air.

    I definitely envy your ability to travel, but not in hatred, but as a youth looking to you and dreaming of being a writer that can one day travel the world and write stories while touring the countrysides and enjoying life’s pleasures. I write as I wish, but as you said, having an unfixed schedule can hurt your productivity, and in the office I have, it truly takes my absolute concentration to stay inspired and stay on task. I’m glad that you are getting this opportunity!

  4. I bet you know the best coffee shops though with the free wi-fi, just don’t overdose on caffeine. Working freelance is hard, you have to self-motivate and be your own secretary.But the freedom is worth it. I think so anyway. SD

  5. The Kindle App makes taking a library with you on your travels possible. I could not even imagine how hard it would be to travel with the number of books in my Kindle in paperback format!
    Good luck in your journey!
    Chris

  6. Thanks for dropping by my blog. There’s a lot to be said for travelling and writing. Lots of stimulation. Sometimes I write and in coffee shops – the odd environment is focusing and refreshing.

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