Monday, March 26, 2007


One of The Beacon's readers sent this email about the challenges of writing "in the zone" whilst travelling:

My husband, Rick and I travel for six to eight months of each year. With constantly changing surroundings it takes some ingenuity to be able to write “in the zone”.

Most challenging are hotel rooms and togetherness in small quarters. Some ways to build “in the zone” space:

1) Both partners having a lap-top is crucial (no time-sharing)

2) Make my space as comfortable as possible (pillows or cushions to bring chair to proper level; facing the wall (or if lucky a garden) so when looking up from the keyboard the view is not distracting.

3) A rule of no T.V. or loud noises during work time

4) Saving our own conversation until we are both finished work.

5) A cup of tea, and I have a good chance of being “in my zone” for the morning, my best writing time.

Having said that, FLEXIBILITY, is crucial to the traveling writer, ie: switching morning writing time to afternoons or evenings to accommodate cultural events and sight-seeing (which why we travel in the first place). Staying in one location if a deadline must be met to extend work hours. The bonus to hotel stays is having “housekeeping” take care of the chores.

With persistence and dedication it is possible to be a traveling writer “in the zone” even with a gypsy lifestyle.

Irene Butler

Many thanks, Irene

Irene's website is