Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Writing On Trains...

by Matt Lynn

I seem to have been on a lot of trains recently, which may help explain why I haven't had much time to blog recently. I went to Scotland to promote the Death Force books, and my book on the euro crisis is coming out in Germany soon, so I went there to help promote that. I don't really like flying very much, so in both cases I got the train.

It's a pleasant way to travel, although rather unexpectedly the German train broke down somewhere between Brussels and the border, which meant I had to get a bus the rest of the way to Cologne. Still, it's not as if planes don't get delayed all the time...and when a plane breaks down, it has a tendency to drop out of the sky.

But the best thing about trains is that they give you a chance to write.

I can write pretty well most places. I know some writers like to be in the same place all the time, but I'm quite happy to write in a cafe, or at home, or on a hotel balcony.

Overall, however, I think trains are my favourite.

There is something about the steady motion that aids the creative process. Looking out of the window creates a sense of the world going by, of events unfolding, which makes it very easy to create a similar sense of movement on the page. You can can pause, look out of the window for a while, then crack on with the next sentence. It is just the right amount of distraction. Not too little, but not too much either.

I suspect if I bought a euro-rail ticket and spent six months writing my next book on trains the effect would wear off.

But I got a lot of work done on those two trips.


  1. Likewise, Matt. I really like travelling by train when I go any distance - it's one benefit of doing so many book signings. I book an airport style seat so there's privacy for writing, in a quiet carriage, and that's another chapter written. Great to hear you're doing so well!

  2. I love the idea of travelling around and writing - by train. You may have just inspired my next holiday!

  3. My last book was written almost entirely on the train as I commuted 4 hours each day, five days a week from Ramsgate to London and back again. Oddly, now that I have the luxury of writing full-time from home, I seem to get less done!

    Tara Moore