By Nadia Saleh | Friday, February 11, 2022
By Nadia Saleh
Friday, February 11, 2022
Los Angeles is famous for a few things: its warm weather, its celebrities, its beaches, but perhaps it is most known for its traffic. From the 210 to the 605 to the 110, our freeways are choked with cars, especially at commute times. At 8 am and 5 pm, I’m lucky if I’m going 30 miles per hour and most often at a dead stop.
But my commute was when I’d get my best thinking done. It was a guaranteed thirty minutes from my office to my home where I’d crank up the music, put on my seatbelt, and plot, plot, plot. Gridlocked freeways became secondary worlds, where I’d puzzle out the finer details of my protagonist’s motivations, the definition of morality in my world, the forces at work that my characters are subject to.
Before I’d go into my house, I’d jot a few notes in my phone. I’m a fan of the free app Notion and keep a tab of phrases that have gotten stuck in my head or plot points or names. Some current notes are “sweet and sour lies” and “before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”, along with plot points for my current project.
We often imagine writing as something done with pencil and paper, or with a word processor or writing software, but to me, writing is a practice best done wherever you find yourself: at a coffee shop, at home, even in the car. When you find yourself facing down the dragon of writer’s block, take a quick spin in the car or go for a walk. You may find inspiration in road signs, trees by the roadside, colors of houses.