writing and driving

chicago

The car is filled with magazines, my little boy’s Iron Man toys, mountains of food crumbs and empty juice boxes. No matter how much I clean, piles appear like dust. And I can’t keep up. I feel like we live in our car.

With all the time we spend in the car, I can’t help but get writing ideas while I’m behind the wheel. I’d use a voice recorder to get them down while driving, but I can’t stand my speaking voice. Telemarketers ask for the head of the household, or for my mom or dad  when I answer the phone. My sister-in-law hung up on me when I called because she thought a kid was playing a prank. Unless I’m singing, no one needs to hear my girly voice recorded, even me.

So when I think creatively, I write. Once I pulled over into a hotel parking lot and found scraps of paper to write on. When my little boy was crying all the way home, I sang a lullaby to calm both of us down. I used repetitive words so it would be easy to remember once we got home.

chicago2

Yes. I don’t like to admit it but before I had my little boy, I did write while stuck in traffic. The car was stopped. I rustled for paper and found an envelope and wrote some great poetry that couldn’t wait to be written. One hand on the paper, one hand on the wheel and my eyes on the road.

After I scribble words that might work as a song, I can’t wait to get home and I pick up the guitar. I hope that the music I’m about to write and the lyrics I have on the envelope (napkin, post-it, phone memo, etc) are going to make sense.

Sometimes they make so much sense that I don’t want to change anything. This is the point where my voice doesn’t matter so much. When I can sing the words that were once unorganized thoughts, now join with the chords I mess around with in the guitar.

Lately the writing ideas have been put on the backburner—when the world pulls me in different directions, the words don’t get through. The construction traffic and long hours behind the wheel were once my motivators and now they’re stifling. Too many people depend on me at the moment and I’m losing focus of my creativity.

My goal is to find a new way to “write” while driving. The plan: safely get my words out of my head  while getting cut off by a crazy lady wearing a ponytail, stuck at a red light for twenty minutes, listening to Back in Black by ACDC for the millionth time (toddler favorite at the moment).  Any ideas?

If you’re craving more writing advice/inspiration then please check out this blog too: http://writer2writer.com/blog/

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