If it isn’t obvious with this blog, I like to write. I like to think I have a vivid imagination which could lead to some of the best novels, screenplays, songs, etc. However, along with my imagination is a severe case of procrastination, mixed with a lot of distraction. Sometimes I’ve sat down with the intent of starting a novel, or even a short story, but I quickly become distracted by social media, video games, or someone else’s writing. It’s the curse of our technology obsessed society.
So, when I read this article by The Wire about how Amtrak is helping writers, I was immediately intrigued. Some might say that the best place for a writer to work is where they have no distractions, but the surroundings shouldn’t be so painfully silent that one can lose their mind. Turns out, many writers love being on trains for this reason; they provide that balance for the perfect creative space. So, when an author randomly tweeted Amtrak about establishing residencies for writers, and they responded back, a great idea was born. Certain authors would be able to ride the train for free, not to get to a location, but to hole themselves up and get the creative juices flowing. This is supposedly starting out as a trial run, but it’d be cool to see what would happen if this actually became a thing.
I haven’t ridden on that many trains, but I get how they can be great to focus on projects. Wi-fi is either unavailable, or must be unreasonably priced. Most people are focused on themselves using public transportation, so you wouldn’t have to worry about being bothered too much. Anytime you have writer’s block, you can stare out the window at your surroundings, a much better alternative to the wall of a room. There are so many cool things about trains that make me want to get on one and just see where it takes my mind.
Time will tell if this test run will turn into something great, but it’s cool to see how writers are getting help in unusual places with their undervalued craft.