Travel has magical effects on creativity. This week I’m in northern Minnesota, writing with writers. We’re sharing resources, tips, workshop info, instruction on things like how to blog, and of course, eating delicious North Woods food. That would be wild rice. That would be cranberries. That would be walleye.
It’s rainy and windy outside, warm and cozy inside. The cabin sleeps nine people even though we’re a group of three. We have a roaring fireplace, fuzzy robes and warm socks, endless space to spread out, bottomless cups of coffee. And the view is beautiful.
What is it about all this that helps get the creative juices flowing? Writing friend Altha has pointed out that when we leave behind our day-to-day lives, we change our “container.” There is novelty in the new. It makes our brains perk up and take notice. It makes us feel rejuvenated.
I think there are other factors at play, too. One is the energy of sharing a common goal. Even though writing is a solitary act, it’s easier to produce when others are focused on their laptops, composing like me. Another is the expanded sense of space. Anything pressing at home or work is physically distant. We can let it go in order to be singleminded and present to the work at hand.
When I travel, the creative aspects of my life surface. I get a different view of myself and what’s important. My craft comes easier. It’s like a little geographical jump-start.