Saturday, 8 October 2016

How Travelling Can Enrich Your Writing

I've been flying around the world recently as well as chasing around the UK. Life as a writer is so busy and often I think that I don't have time for any of this. It's getting in the way of me actually doing any writing. But on a number of occasions I have discovered that travelling can also broaden and enrich my abilities as a writer.

This morning I was on my way to The British Library. To get from where I was staying I had to change from the rail network to the London Underground. As Tower Bridge Station is undergoing renovation there is a long walk to get to the underground station. At a number of places along the route there are staff members guiding travellers in the right direction. Now this seems, to me, to be quintessentially British. It's like the tube are saying we have inconvenienced you but not that much because we are helping your commute to go well.

One of these staff members took it one step further. In fact I think they took it a whole heap further. He was saying, "It's Friday. leave work 15 minutes early. Relax, start your weekend well, go for a drink and take it easy."

Now how cool is that? It was sad that most of the commuters were paying him no notice. They were doing what they always do and putting one foot in front of the other. Content only on getting to work they were unaware of what was happening around them. As I had no clue what I was doing I was taking everything in. I was able to notice the kindness of one stranger who was doing his best to make life more pleasant for commuters in the Capital.

How much do I often miss by not taking in my surroundings. As a writer I should be inquisitive and looking around. Looking for nuggets which could shape scenes, settings or characters. This has taught me a valuable lesson and I will certainly be paying more attention in the future.

My exhortation to you today is to do the same. Look around you, take stock and really take life in. Don't let it pass you by.

Wendy H. Jones is the author of the best selling DI Shona McKenzie Mystery series of crime novels set in Dundee. The Dagger's Curse, the first book in her Fergus and Flora, Young Adult Mystery series was released on 10th September, 2016. She also has one non fiction book, Power Packed Book Marketing: Sell More Books. You can find out more on her:


Amazon Author Page


  1. So agree, Wendy. I love traveling by train or plane for that very reason: to look around and see the diversity of people around me, all ripe for the picking as characters in my writing.
    Lovely post.

  2. I find it's easier to notice the little things when out of my usual environment too, Wendy. Always great to read new menus, try new food, listen to new music etc. - all easier when travelling. That rail employee deserves a medal for trying to lift the spirits of weary commuters.