I haven’t been able to write anything travel related in over a month. I simply haven’t had the time, energy, or patience to do it. It’s like a brick wall when I sit down and try to spill my words on the page – they just don’t come. Excuses flow much easier, like the dilemma of transitioning into the 9-5 work life, or being caught up with the new found joys of summer in Austin, TX– sour beers, wedding festivities, and barbeque day trips to name a few. But, those are just excuses.  So, I started searching for inspiration and information to use when the writer’s block ensues. I know every writer is different, and each of us deals with different road blocks, but here are ten ways that helped me get back in the travel writing groove.

If you’re stuck, these 10 tips can get you back on writing track:

Travelettes Travel Writing 1 Photo: Unsplash

1) Tune in – dig in the dirt and explore the treasures of your own backyard

Metaphorically or actually… There is adventure lurking around every corner, even if it’s the place you call home. It takes a little motivation to step outside of your routine and explore, but adventure is waiting. Exploring your own town may not seem as exotic as indulging in street-side Vietnamese pho or trekking through mountain villages of Nepal, but it is exploration nonetheless. I found that routine was lethal to my creativity, so I began to seek out new places I hadn’t explored, and tried to talk with people that reminded me of those I met while traveling.

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2) Join a Travel Book Club  

“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot, and write a lot.” – Stephen King
A book club may seem old school, but there are so many digital options related to travel. I am part of Nomadic Matt’s online book club, and I receive an email every month with 5 new and interesting travel books! Book clubs are just the beginning – dig up your old journals, seek out interesting travel articles, read travel forums. These resources are filled with stories, characters, facts, and places that will re-open your passion for travel writing. Seek out new blogs, interesting stories, weird videos, or travel newsletters!

3) Invest in a new journal and write about ANYTHING

Getting a new journal is one of my favorite things. It just feels fresh and new, and is quite literally ‘unwritten’ in.  Take this time to write about anything; your personal, professional, or travel goals, the way the stranger you met at the coffee shop made you all tingly inside, or the infuriating business meeting you had. Write about whatever stirs you that day: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Write about what you’re thankful for, what made today great or what made today absolutely suck. Be real. Pour out what hurts, it usually helps and will give you something to build upon.

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4) Set an attainable writing goal – one you can hopefully stick to 

This will be different for everyone. For me, I agreed to set aside time on Sunday afternoons to sit down and write for a couple hours. For you this might mean committing to writing on your lunch break, or taking time early in the morning or late at night in between trips. We all operate on different systems, so find out what works for you and insert writing into the process.

5) Walk it out 

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the city, a random neighborhood, or roaming through the dark, amazing spaces of Angor Wat. Walk, move, disrupt the static space in your day.

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6) Embrace the blank page – it’s okay to have nothing to say sometimes

You are human, realizing you have nothing to say in turn makes you a better listener, reader, and story hunter. Last weekend I went to a coffee shop and just people watched while listening to the problems of those around me, the highlight reels of friends reunited, and stranger’s travel stories. (It might sound weird, but it never hurts to be the fly on the wall sometimes).

7) Communicate your troubles and find someone to confide in

There are hundreds of travel blogging forums, Facebook groups (travelettes) with other bloggers going through the same struggles as you. Reach out to them, even if it doesn’t seem like they are struggling according to their Instagram feed, odds are they have probably gone through what you are going through too.

8) Grab an adult coloring book 

If the keyboard just isn’t generating content, move away from it. Adult coloring books have really taken off and are selling in the millions. Coloring enhances creativity, allows you to think outside the box, and it’s fun! Spending hours intricately coloring different patterns and shapes brings you back to being a kid, except now you can actually stay in the lines (hopefully). For me, picking up a physical pen, pencil, or marker makes me feel like I’m actually touching the words or designs as I bring them to life on the page.

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Photo: Unsplash

9) Talk to a stranger 

Start a conversation with someone totally random. We are often so buried in our computers, and consumed by our work or phones that we forget the wonder lying in the real, live humans around us. Saying hello to a stranger can spark a conversation that can lead to some type of writing inspiration. Dig into the stories of those around you, ask questions, find out what people around you are doing, exploring, or dealing with.

10) Remember it will come back – the words and ideas will return in full force

We have all hit a rut – either on a motorbike in Hanoi, a bus stop in Paris, or the inevitable writer’s rut. The important thing to remember is that you aren’t alone. Every travel blogger, writer, author, genius has experienced some form of slump.

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Photo: Unsplash
The true test of your ability is how you bounce back, and continue to show up for your writing even if it might not show up for you. All of the Travelettes have been there, and we are here for any of you who need some extra advice or inspiration when you’re in a writing funk.

Cheers, and happy travel writing!