Margaret Ethridge · planning · procrastination · writing advice

Out of the Zone

I’m a bit of a creature of habit. Sometimes this is a good thing. I rarely worry about what to have for breakfast because I eat the same thing five days a week:

Every morning and every night I kiss the same hunky guy:

[photo redacted because Fodder refuses to be fodder for my online life]

I sit in the same chair each night:


I try to clock the same minimum word count each night:


But all this is about to change. I’ll be traveling a great deal for the day job in the next six months. At the moment, it’s looking like I will be away from home 1-2 full weeks per month.


I’m susceptible to distraction. There will be business dinners and hotel cable with channels we refuse to spring for at home. I’ll be flirting with that cute guy via Face Time and living out of this:

I’ve never been particularly good about writing on the road, but now there are deadlines and commitments. Distraction is not acceptable. Blank documents and scattered edits are not an option.

I know I’m not the only author to wrestle with writing outside of the comfort zone. I sure could use some advice. Anyone have any tips or tricks to keep me in line?

8 thoughts on “Out of the Zone

  1. I may take you up on that, Brinda. The funny thing is, I used to think people who got to travel for business were lucky. Now I know better…

  2. I am a creature of habit too. I like my routines. I eat almonds and yogurt for most breakfasts too and a pb sammich for lunch. 🙂 I’m 100% confident that you’ll be able to write outside of your comfort zone because you’re you. But if you start to get a little distracted, I have ways of dealing with that. *cracks whip* 😉

  3. I’m sure you’ll just find a new comfort zone. When you set your mind to something it gets done.

  4. You might be right about the distractions, Cyndi. Maybe this travel thing will boost my productivity! *applies the power of positive thinking*

  5. If you write on business trips half as well as you did on retreat, you’re set!! I write away from the house, but never away from home…due to the bouncing, talking three year old I bring with me. I’m sure it will be a challenge. I’m equally sure you’re up to the task. Best of luck and SAFE travels!!

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