December 5, 2011

Writing on airplanes

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I used to be able to write anywhere. I’d just bring my notebook and a pen, and I’d be set. Then, I got carpal tunnel syndrome and I had to write solely on computers. But I got one of those early luggable portable ones and tried the same thing. And it worked…sorta. Five years later, the carpal tunnel is gone, but the limited range of writing venues remains. I can write at cafés, in people’s houses, in libraries, in parks (depending on the glare of the sun), on the sofa, at my desk, in the kitchen (okay, strike that last part, that never really works for me), but the one place I can’t get anything useful done is at an airport, in the air or pre/post flight.

How great would it be if I could spend my five hour wait at Heathrow airport writing the non-fiction piece for my writing group that was due that day (instead of avoiding doing it now, two days later)? How great if I could get some words out about the book I’m reviewing? Or, how ’bout I just get some useful editing done? But no. The only thing I’m capable of doing at airports is drink coffee or look at tax free items I don’t want.

Is there something they pump into the air? What is it about travelling that makes me unable to focus? Can you work and travel at once?



  1. i am convinced that, on a plane at least, they pipe in some chemical to make you sleepy (or at least passive). As such, I am usually not awake. Occasionally though, I will read or watch an in-flight movie. But actual writing? Not possible. There simply isn’t enough space in a (economy) seat to write anything. For a professional procrastinator like myself, that’s just fine

    Comment by J. Chapman — December 5, 2011 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

    • I guess I’m just a bit of an over-achiever, and as soon as I stop trying to work all the time, I’d feel better about, well, everything really. Still, three days late handing in something with a flexible deadline is not so bad.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — December 5, 2011 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

  2. Sounds like writing comes easily to you! 🙂 I envy people like you. Lol. I cannot work during travel. I get easily distracted and lose all focus.

    Comment by Anna — December 6, 2011 @ 3:01 am | Reply

    • I think it’s due to having two older brothers and parents who’re still together with an insatiable urge to ask how things are going or suggest something else to do. I’ve learned to block stuff out. 😉

      Comment by nascentnovelist — December 6, 2011 @ 6:00 am | Reply

  3. I believe they refreshed the air more often when smoking was allowed. I’m curious how budget constraints have affected the rate of refreshment, Robin

    Comment by Robin Hawke — December 9, 2011 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  4. This is probably true. Too bad, since it still costs a fortune to fly out of Montreal. At least the airport personnel are excellent.

    Comment by nascentnovelist — December 9, 2011 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

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