Writing Great Travel Journals – Part Two

Just like cake goes with coffee and cream cheese with bagels, Dave Fox’s book Globejotting goes with Lavinia Spalding’s  book Writing Away. Sure you could read only one or the other and learn a great deal about writing a travel journal. But together, these two books cover pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about the fine art of travel journaling.

Dave Fox’s Globejotting, with his spot on ideas about using all the senses and utilizing alternative journaling techniques, got me jumped up about travel journal writing.

Writing-Away-lavinia-spaldingAs soon as I finished the book, I wanted to rush out and buy the first blank journal I could find to write in. But it was late at night and the shops were closed. So  I started reading Lavinia Spalding’s Writing Away, a creative guide to awakening the journal-writing traveler, instead.

And was soon very glad I did.

Who knew how complicated purchasing a blank journal could be.

There were decisions to be made: lined or unlined, large or small, moleskin or recycled.

Turns out  choosing a blank  journal is an important part of the whole travel journaling adventure, not something you rush into on a whim.

Furthermore, there’s the issue of what type of writing apparatus to use. After all, one that smudges, leaks, or fails to perform could lead to more than just writer’s block.

A dedicated traveler and journaler, Lavinia Spalding takes the reader through this maze of issues, defining not only the tools of the trade but also the techniques that will, hopefully, ensure a successful travel journaling adventure.

The book is jam packed with quotes from famous and not-so-famous people, set out to inspire and encourage.  Along side there are plenty of travel journal examples and Q & A’s to learn from.

In fact, the whole book inspires  not only the writer but also the inner artist. When travelling, Lavinia suggests collecting titbits to glue into the journal, start sketching (it doesn’t matter how good it is), ask for directions and get a local to draw a map, keep tickets.  After all, it doesn’t always have to be only about the words.

Perhaps even more importantly, Lavinia suggests not to wait until the trip starts to start writing. Planning and anticipating the travel is all part of the journey – not writing about it is like missing the first act of a play.

Which means I’d better start writing away.

But first, I have to decide, is this my moleskin moment?

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