Writing Assignment: Make Your Own Notes From The Road

by Randy Murray on August 24, 2012

Writing while traveling isn’t easy. You’re away from your regular tools and habits. Your time is filled, usually overfilled. You’ll be tired, exhausted at times.

And yet you need to write.

My solution: plan on making notes from the road. I keep a Field Notes Memo Book in my pocket at all times, and when I suddenly find a spare moment, I jot down observations and notes.

Think of it as taking snapshots with a camera. You don’t have to form complete paragraphs or even sentences. Just jot down what you’ve been thinking about as you travel, see, and taste. I also stick in ticket stubs and the little scraps of things that come my way, like the label of a bottle or the wrapper of an unusual piece of candy.

These notes can be extremely valuable. Even the simplest note can help memories come flooding back. I find my notes to be more effective than photographs at unlocking a moment in time and bringing back a mindset.

For today’s assignment, make travel notes for your current day. You may not be traveling far from home (in my case, I might not even leave the house today). Just take a small notebook or even a few 3×5 cards, put them in your pocket, and when you have a spare moment, jot down what you’ve seen, done, and thought about.

Practice this skill at home and it will become second nature when you travel.


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Me, in proper writing attire, making notes from the road in my special edition Field Notes memo book.


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