As much as I travel for author visits in schools, I’ve had to get good at writing in places other than my cozy office in Corvallis, Oregon — airport shuttles, busy concourses, restaurants, planes. Earbuds piping my favorite writing music into my brain help me soften the ambient noise. I’ve thought about blocking out all the peripheral movement around me by using blinders, like you might see on a horse. But that would look . . . let’s call it weird, and probably lead to interruptions — people wanting to know if I’m all right, or putting a bridle over my head and leading me back to the barn. So I put on mental blinders and try to withdraw from everything around me — live inside my story, my characters’ heads. It works most of the time. Which is somehow even more satisfying than getting after it at home. Have keyboard, will travel.
Writing on the Fly
- by Tom Birdseye