Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Writing Roadblocks: Unanswered Questions
One of the issues I run into in writing a travel memoir is letting unanswered questions become roadblocks (pun intended) to my progress. Today’s topic was how to write about uncomfortable instances without sounding whiney.
I write on a personal level, giving a real-life point of view. I don’t sugar coat. I don’t make it seem like every day is full of glorious adventure. There are problems. There are mistakes. And yes, sometimes there is downright miserableness.
So, how can I be true to the real-life aspect and not sound whiney sometimes?
The goal is to show readers that it’s OK to acknowledge the less-happier situations. When you think about it, most travel books are written about wonderful sites, fabulous scenery, interesting places, etc. Yes, there is adventure and sometimes hardships, but most of the time, it seems like it’s all a fantastic time.
And, for the most part, it is. But, not everything goes as expected. Multiple issues may arise. There are disappointments. Sometimes, when in unfamiliar situations, fear and other aspects may cause emotional upheavals which can affect the enjoyment of the journey.
I want to show what it’s really like to travel; the good with the not-so-good. Not all parts of a trip are full of wonderful sights and positiveness. So, how do you get through that? Because, after all, the trip really is an amazing adventure and the good does outweigh the bad.
How do I deal with it? By writing about how I come to terms with scary situations and how to handle the unexpected. Yes, I’ll admit sometimes I totally fall apart in the moment, but I also use it as a learning experience. I ask myself how can I do better next time?
Each moment is an opportunity to learn, oftentimes minor, hardly noticeable. Other times, a situation can affect your mental outlook for a while until you deal with it …
Like that time within the first two hours of a trip when I almost got into an accident on a round-about. For the next half hour, I was paranoid about the thought. My mind spun ‘round of what could have happened and how my trip would have been ruined, until I got on a nice, quiet, windy, mountain road and was able to calm myself down.
The lesson here: Yes, I almost caused an accident, but I didn’t. At that point, I could have simply acknowledged thankfulness and put it behind me, instead of dwelling on it the rest of the day and being fearful every time I was in heavier traffic.
There are always going to be issues to deal with while traveling. We shouldn’t hide them. I want to talk about my full experiences and hopefully, if and when you get a chance to travel, something I may have dealt with will help you get through your situation.