There’s a general feeling that we bloggers can write from any location, anywhere world wide. Portable computers and WiFi suggest that physical location is irrelevant. You could blog about stocks from a beach in Thailand, new Apple gear from a snow bank in Maine, or culinary adventures from a carpeted airport floor.
But after a vacation in a more rural environment, my opinion of “blog anywhere” has changed. I brought my laptop, but my access to the internet was limited, as was my interest in writing due to a flurry of holiday activity.
Internet access is not ubiquitous. Blogging by definition requires internet access – even with a WordPress blog set up to publish via email, you still have to send that email.
My experience: Some places I stayed at lacked Internet access (don’t ask) while others didn’t have WiFi. At one point I resorted to transferring files to another computer via burned CD.
Solutions: Reliable computer, USB flash drive, personal Wi-Fi router, internet enabled cellphone, Ethernet cable.
A basic level of physical comfort is required for inspiration. Imagine being locked in a completely empty room with only an Internet-enabled computer and a television. After a few weeks of confinement, you may be unmotivated to write.
My experience: Rushing about and being overly busy in the “real world” didn’t leave much time to write thoughtfully. I also felt uninspired after a particularly sleep-deprived layover. I’m reminded of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – blogging is on the top half of that pyramid.
Solutions: Comfortable and inspirational surroundings, set up distraction-free writing time.
Physical access to writing subjects. If you run a gardening blog and are away from your garden for a week or two, it wouldn’t make much difference. But imagine being away from your blog’s subject for a month or longer. Many blogs have a connection to the offline world – and therefore the blogger’s physical location – because of their subject matter.
My experience: I write about technology, and therefore require Internet access to keep up to date on technology news. I was also surrounded by people who were decidedly not interested in technology (no offense, aged relatives!). This definitely reduced my desire to blog.
Solutions: Bring DVDs and music to review, and see solutions for Internet access above.
Plan ahead. When I went to Japan earlier this year, I lined up some guest bloggers as well as wrote some posts and set them to publish while I was on vacation. I didn’t to either this time around due to poor planning.
In conclusion, the dream of blogging while on the go is achievable, but you may want to consider your blogging needs and where you draw inspiration before leaving home. It’s more complex than just packing a portable computer and vowing to write when time permits. I’ll definitely blog a bit smarter next time I board a plane!
Here are links to additional reading on this subject: