If you do a lot of travelling, you’ll know the value of packing light for a trip. And the same goes for writing. Having travelled and written the hard way for too long, I now travel light and write light.
How to pack for a trip
The nomads of the world are quick to tell us how to pack less and travel light:
- Roll instead of fold – and fit everything into a backpack. Watch the YouTube Video below to see how easy it is.
- Pack less – wash small items at night and hang them in the shower
Hint: Roll wet items in a towel to squeeze out excess moisture. They will dry much faster.
Okay, a small backpack might be a bit extreme, but you get the idea.
Plan to succeed!
You can certainly cut down on luggage (and weight) by careful planning.
The consistent tip from packing-gurus is the ‘half-method’. Gather up what you think you’ll need, and then eliminate half.
In my case, I may have to repeat that last step a few times before my luggage resembles ‘smart packing’. When I think back to the trips where a lot of what I packed never left the suitcase, the half method makes a lot of sense.
But, Write Light?
The more I write, the more refined my writing becomes. And it didn’t take long to realise I didn’t need a lot of the words I used. They were the ‘extra stuff’. Like taking two sets of pyjamas, where one would do.
I write, edit, and cut back. It might not be by half, but I certainly hack those extra words out of the story.
This is what I cut from one of the sentences above:
And it didn’t take
toolong to realise thatI didn’t need a lot of the words I used.
There was no change to the meaning – I just eliminated the extra words.
Some of my writing habits were formed at College. And old habits die hard.
An assignment would include a suggested word-limit. The intent was probably ‘write no more than this number of words, but get as close as you can’.
I remember one time, my word count was not exactly close to the assigned number.
So I (may have) exaggerated the number of words… a little. Who would have thought lecturers had time to count every word?
That assignment came back with a note attached:
‘My guesstimate is …. words’.
So from then on, I added all the extra words I could muster. They probably had little to do with the topic, but they made the word count look more respectable. And it kept that particular lecturer happy.
Am I there yet?
I still pack more than I need for a trip, but not as much as I used to.
And my writing still carries some ‘extra stuff’, but I keep on culling until I eliminate most of the fluff.
What are your tips for how to travel light and write light?