Have you ever written in a train? Writing in trains as they speed down the line can lead you to the most unexpected destinations. Come prepared though: a solid notebook and steady hand are required. Or you might unfold your laptop.
In a train you can sit back (if a seat is free) and enjoy the ride. Watch your hand track the pen across the page, leaving a stream of words like smoke from an old locomotive. Maybe you have to stand and write and constantly adjust your balance to the train’s faltering rhythm.
“Excuse me,” someone says, nudging past you writing mid-sentence as they make haste for a vacant seat. No matter. Write anyway.
A train is your magic crucible of glass and steel and time. How long until you reach the end station? Not long enough if you don’t turn up the heat on your writing.
People talking loudly on mobiles, someone doused in sickly aftershave, another rolled in stale tobacco, the air thick with the rain carried in on umbrellas and jackets and slippery boots–all these impressions pressing in on that intimate space around you where those words, like colourful autumn leaves, hang ripe for you alone to pluck. All you have to do is keep that pen moving.
Pleasant, unpleasant, neither pleasant nor unpleasant–so you may perceive your surrounds from moment to moment in a train. Do you allow preconceptions of “how things should be” when writing to derail your creative journey? No way! A creative writer on the go embraces it all and keeps on writing.
Listen to the brakes squeal as the train pulls into your station. Feel the crowd milling past as you take note of all you’ve written, Not a bad writing session at all!
Have you had a similar experience writing on a train? If you haven’t, give it a try—set off on your own creative journey.
Incidentally, it’s rather impossible to take a selfie while writing. A kind woman took this photo for me. We had brief chat. She is an art therapist living out my way and helping children at Vienna’s large hospital (AKH). She rides her bike and then a train to get to work. Like me, I believe she enjoys every train journey.