Writing En Route: In Airports and Airplanes

IMG_4437_from the plane by Beth Barany from France to the USI love writing en route to my far destination when I fly. I don’t write with a sense of purposefulness, with a goal in mind like a word count. I write what inspires me. And often what inspires me is my fellow travelers. I’m also inspired by where I’m going and what I plan to do when I get there. Lastly, I’m inspired by the something new that happens when you leave home for an adventure.

Do you like to write en route, on the airplane, in the airport?

This post is fourth in new blog series that I’m running for the next six months, in conjunction with fellow creativity coach, Paula Chafee Scardamalia. See all the posts here. And more about our series below.

5 Tips for Writing En Route

To make it easy, I have some tips for you:

  1. Write with pen and paper. It can be a bummer when your laptop or tablet runs out of battery. To reduce frustration, go low tech.
  2. Bring back up pens and paper.
  3. Put your writing material in your carry on.
  4. Wrap your pens in a ziplock back. Airplane pressure may cause them to leak, and you wouldn’t want them to leak all over your stuff.
  5. Be gentle with yourself and don’t write if you don’t feel like it. You’re on an adventure, right? So stay in that spirit of play and openness.

What tips do you have about writing on the plane and in airports?


About our Travel & Writing series

Travel & Writing: Flights of the Imagination Blog Series with Beth Barany & Paula Chafee ScardamaliaFor the next 24 weeks, you are invited to join Paula Chafee Scardamalia and I as we share with you about the magic of travel and writing.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, novels, short stories, personal essays or keep journals, we will offer information, tips, techniques and tools for using travel to inspire, inform, enrich and empower your writing.

Look for posts from both of us at
diviningthemuse.com/blog and https://writersfunzone.com/blog/ every other Wednesday.

And get information on our destination retreats, mine’s in Paris for novelists, Paula’s is near Delphi, Greece for writers who want to tap into their dreams. Check out Paula’s post this week on writing en route.

My big dream

IMG_3934_view of roofs in Paris-10th arrondisment

View of roofs in Paris-10th arrondisment. Image copyright 2012-2014 Beth Barany

My big dream and coming reality: To take a group of writers to Paris Oct. 2015 and have a writing workshop on preparing your novel.

Join me in the beautiful City of Lights.

It’s happening! All the details are here.

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  • kathy j says:

    This is my FAVORITE place to write!
    I always feel so much clarity when I fly…oddly, I feel more grounded than ever when in the air! 🙂

    I find that allowing myself to unplug i.e. not signing up for on board email.. really helps me reset and repattern and leave open space in my brain for the words to flow!

  • Beth Barany says:

    Kathy, I know, right?! I feel that clarity too. I think it’s because our minds are unfettered from the day-to-day. Love that “reset and repattern”. I feel that too and love that experience both in going and also in returning home. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Bill Brandon says:

    I also prefer to use a pen when writing during a flight. However, I do use some technology: a Livescribe Echo or an Evernote Moleskine and a fine-point Sharpie. This way, I not only have what I wrote, but I have it in a form that software can convert into editable text. The Echo records my handwriting and the Livescribe software does the conversion. With the Evernote Moleskine, I can use my smartphone to take a picture of the pages and upload them to Evernote, which can search even my scrawl. Either method supports sketching, mindmapping, and doodling.

    At one time, I carried a Parker 45 fountain pen when I flew (the 45 was cheap, uses cartridges, and easily replaced if lost) and wrote in a Moleskine, but stopped doing that in 2002 when TSA began confiscating anything they didn’t recognize (fountain pens seemed to them to be Weapons of Mass Destruction, apparently).

    Whatever. With a pen and notebook of any kind, you don’t get interrupted or a damaged laptop when the passenger in front of you leans their seat back, and you don’t have to go through the power-down business when your flight begins boarding.

  • Beth Barany says:

    Thanks for your story, Bill. (A pen as a WMD? Guess so!)

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