Tag Archives: discipline

The Discipline of Travel

Travel is the maze around my heart, the path that I keep following to find myself. Since my mother got me my first passport when I was four, to visit my father’s family in Zimbabwe, I’ve hit the road for destinations far-flung and near. They promise to teach me more about the world and my fortitude for living in it; I promise to listen.

Jewelry as comfort; literary festival entices; microphone to capture.

Jewelry as comfort; literary festival entices; microphone to capture.

Creature comforts and tools of the trade must be boiled down to essentials. I am a chronic overpacker, and jewelry reminds me of home and friends; notebooks, camera/phone, recording devices capture the journey; and I gather local event flyers and ephemera to turn into artwork at later dates. Flat is not digital, but it’s hard to so overstuff luggage with paper that you can’t carry it.

The metallic bassline of the tuba; couples, friends and strangers swaying on a street corner as a man from the band passes a metal pail for cash; a refined bowl of bouillabaisse at Galatoire’s — this was my entry into New Orleans after two days on the train at the start of my Amtrak Residency. New York to New Orleans: stop, enjoy, report. New Orleans to Los Angeles: repeat. And then, return. To think, to see. To be in my place and out of my place. What is my place? These are the questions that travel allows me to ask, if not always answer.

Writers Rules on Writing Fiction

I like this series of lists on how to write fiction from The Guardian, via writers including:

  • Joyce Carol Oates (Don’t try to anticipate an “ideal reader” – there may be one, but he/she is reading someone else.)
  • Will Self (Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.)
  • & Zadie Smith (Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.)

The number one thing most of these folks say to do is to write… to be faithful to your craft, to be disciplined, to keep going even when it seems impossible.

Cheers to that.