So far, my road trips couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried! Oddly enough the short ones are proving to be the more disruptive of the two varieties!

Being who I currently am, doing what I am currently doing, my main mechanism for keeping all the balls in the air and rotating is to work with a lot of structure. Specific times for specific tasks, including things like eating and running. It sounds awful for most people but it really frees my mind up to get on with the job at hand secure in the knowledge that I AM going to get to the other stuff today as well.

Of course road-tripping shoots that idea to hell and gone. Staying in other people’s spaces, moving around constantly, doing things not normally include in your working day, these all combine to make for wonderful crazy and very un-routine times. It also means that my writing suffers greatly as does my productivity on long term jobs as a whole.

What I have learned on this two week trip is that if I bring along just a few little goodies to decorate my day with something resembling structure, I can re-create the mental space that I require to write and be truly productive. Exercise has always been a big one, so now I always travel with my running shoes! But a new one is how I eat. My good friend Lilian Gravell (personal trainer, boxing coach an all round cool person) gave me an eating plan to follow cos I was battling with fatigue, inability to lose weight and tone up etc. It requires me to eat 5 times a day. Now if I pre prepare those snacky meals and lose main meals, I find I can navigate a day far more easily than ever before. I also now actually have energy at the end of an afternoon after I have been up since 4:30 am to actually do productive stuff, so thanks Lilian.

I do look like a bit of a travelling OCD freak show with my running kit, box of oats and raisins, but what it does mean is that, no matter what happens with my workshops at The National Arts Festival, I am very busy writing and being creative around that while meeting my other work commitments as well.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?