Sunday, February 23, 2014

Writers on a Train

My grandfather was a conductor and I've often wanted to be excited by train travel.  The closest I came was in India where I had great trips - the rail pass with its entry into the air conditioned cars was wonderful.

Otherwise, it is a utilitarian form of transport that is nowadays squeezing as much profit from comfort as  the infamous Ryan Air.  Well, I have only travelled by train recently in South Korea where no trip is long enough to require much in the way of amenities.

These writers had a better experience and one I now want to try (here and here). From the former link:
In a 2009 piece for The Millions, Emily St. John Mandel describes working on a novel during her morning commute on the New York City subway. “It felt like extra time,” she writes. “I began scrawling fragments of the third novel on folded-up wads of scrap paper, using a book as my desk.” Mandel polled around and found other writers used the subway as a workspace, too. Julie Klam: “Part of the reason I like it is because it has a very distinct end. It’s not like having six hours at home. I tend to have great bursts of inspiration that last about six stops.” Mark Snyder: “I think the act of working, surrounded by other people living their lives, can be quite a compelling act for yourself. It makes me feel less alone.”

1 comment:

Marcus Peddle said...

I haven't tried writing on a train but I can read on a train without getting motion sickness. I can't do anything on a bus, not even the non-stop first class buses.
Of course, everything's better than an airplane.