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The Career Author Podcast: Episode 93 – Travel Ignites Creativity

Travel ignites creativity, can broaden your perspective, and make your writing rich. Whether you’re traveling around your town or across the globe, the people and experiences you encounter will make you a more tolerant person and a better storyteller.

Zach discusses how Seattle feels different than his hometown of Nashville and the ways he experienced the city that was different than other cities, like New Orleans and Chicago. Although a bit worn around the edges after their travel, the Career Authors discuss why experiencing the world is something every author should do.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why getting out of your normal environment is refreshing.
  • How travel can make you healthier.
  • The ways in which people give a city it’s identity.
  • The differences between perceptions of folks on the West Coast, the East Coast, the South, and the Midwest.
  • How iconic landmarks can be used in writing fiction.
  • The size and scope of the United States compared to Europe, and the different ethnicities and nationalities that make America great.

Also, discover why exploring your own town can be fun and exciting.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Do you feel more inspired after traveling? If so, in what ways?

Thanks to all our Patrons.

Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

Get exclusive bonus content by supporting The Career Author Podcast on Patreon at www.patreon.com/thecareerauthor

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Links:

J. Thorn on Books and Travel with Jo Frances Penn – https://www.booksandtravel.page/train-travel-usa/

Inspired by New Orleans – https://books2read.com/finalawakebox

Inspired by New Orleans and Chicago – https://books2read.com/u/4AwpXq

Inspired by Seattle – https://books2read.com/stonethecrows1

Inspired by Dauphin Island – https://books2read.com/undeadtales

The October Giveaway is up now! – http://www.thecareerauthor.com

The Career Author YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/thecareerauthor

Three Story Method – http://threestorymethod.com

Molten Universe Media – http://www.moltenuniversemedia.com

Events – https://thecareerauthor.com/events/ 

14 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 93 – Travel Ignites Creativity

  • Morning guys. Great hack Zach. Interesting we’re prepared to travel long distances to see places as if they are better, but not short distances. Authors on a Train Nashville?
    I’m lucky being a military brat because I’ve lived in different countries. I think being somewhere is the only way you get the real sights, smells, sounds and different places make you feel different which is useful as a writer.
    I think it helps to go somewhere with intent. I’m not a tick list tourist; I usually look for writing related stuff. So a few years ago wifey, son and I did a driving tour across Europe. The furthest place we went was Vienna. I only wanted to see one thing. The Reisenrad (Ferris Wheel). Graham Greene wrote a film called “The Third Man.” One of my favourite films. There is a scene in the film where the protagonist, Joseph Cotton, meets the antagonist, Orson Welles, on a wooden Ferris Wheel. That was still operating so we had a ride on it. Wonderful. I love seeing where writers live or where scenes are filmed. Hazy memory because it was a long time ago but I think I’ve seen the house in Washington where scenes from the Exorcist was filmed. On that trip I got picked up by the Moonies and taken to a large house in the suburbs for a meal and recruiting session, whilst trying to date a German girl. She joined, I didn’t.
    Whilst on Authors on a Train 2018 in New Orleans myself and a couple of others saw houses where Anne Rice, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams lived. And to make this topical, we saw the house where series three, Coven, of American Horror was filmed. So if I have a vote that’s where mine goes.
    You can’t get experiences like that without travelling.
    Great show.

  • Most of my settings have been fictional, or only loosely based on real places, so it’s given me freedom to not be 100% accurate. My next book takes place in Boston, which is where I live, and it’s the first time my setting isn’t fictional. Writing a story in a different state or country sounds daunting to me, and I can definitely see the benefit of visiting the location first.

    I do find that I get inspired every time I travel somewhere for vacation though. It’s good to surround yourself with a culture you’re not familiar with every once in a while.

  • I can’t think of a US city that has emotionally inspired me–though I have used some as settings. I think it’s because they so easily overwhelm me, and I make a point of avoiding them when possible. I think it’s easier for me to sense the differences in the flavors of small towns, places in nature, and historical objects.

    Most cities, when I think of my memories, are a conglomeration of noise, a collage of buildings, and the scent of vehicle exhaust and heated pavement.

    But I can easily remember the difference in the scents of an approaching rain in my small beach town in Costa Rica vs my woodland childhood home in upstate New York.

    Bratislava, Slovakia stands out in my mind, though. The Danube splitting the city between the beautiful historical Old World buildings and the stark, characterless blocks of the Communist era.

    When I think of Kigali, Rwanda, I immediately remember the dust in my nose—a detail I hadn’t considered until writing this.

    Actually–I think the main difference between the US cities and other cities is that I’ve never explored US cities on foot. The others, I have.

    • It’s definitely harder to find distinct differences between major cities, compared to smaller local communities, but if you spend enough time exploring, they start to reveal their quirks. Boston in particular is overflowing with history and has a very different feel from a city on the west coast, like San Francisco.

      I do agree it’s easier to find inspiration in foreign places, though. I went to Japan a few years ago and have wanted to write a story in Tokyo ever since.

  • Hey guys, great episode and I’m glad you had a good time in Seattle. I was slacking in the coffee arena, apparently.

    On Zach’s note about cultures around the U.S., you might enjoy this book: American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/)

    It really opened my eyes on the regional cultures in the U.S., where they are and where they came from. I found it fascinating.

  • Great episode. I live in a relatively big city in the desert, so when I go to the mountains for vacation every summer, it always inspires my writing. The change of scenery, even the different weather, somehow makes me think more clearly about how my characters (who lived 1000 years ago) would have felt. We also don’t have internet at our cabin, so I spend a lot of time outdoors.

    When I visited Sweden last summer, I fell in love with this one particular lake. It wasn’t anything special, other than that my grandfather had played there as a boy, but I felt drawn to it. I ended up putting the lake in a couple of my books as a place with special meaning for one of my characters.

    On another note: I appreciate that you took the time to recognize traveling as a privilege, that time, money, jobs, family, and health issues can keep people from being able to travel. In my day job, I work at a very busy public library branch serving a population that does not have much privilege: refugees, immigrants, homeless, and recent offenders. It’s made me very aware of how privileged I am to be able to travel, and I’m glad when others recognize it too.

  • Another great episode. After your last live event in Cleveland, my wife and I visited the Lakeview Cemetery on Cleveland’s east side. (My wife is a cemetery junkie.) Who thought a cemetery would be so fascinating? We got a 90-minute golf cart tour and there was some interesting sites there like James Garfield’s memorial and Elliot Ness’s grave marker.

    All the time were there, I kept thinking of ways to set a murder mystery there.

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