Writing about the history of travel

Today I had a sharp reminder about my process of writing on the history of travel -how formulaic it is, even predictable. I was stressing about completing a piece of work then after looking at all I had written I thought, I am there. When writing, I am constantly trying to fit pieces in at random, almost in the dark. then I get stuck – quite a few times, throw pieces in and more often than not, get lost completely. I liken the end piece to a huge scaffold or a building covered with scaffold – lots inside. This process was a familiar feeling. I remember when I was writing my thesis, I got to a stage when I thought I would never stop writing draft after draft. Would it ever be right? Now after several more drafts and articles I am aware that I know when I am there in other words when to stop! I feel writing about travel is like gathering materials for my building covered in scaffold. Often when I am writing about a person who has travelled somewhere there is so much to consider where they are from, where they went, what’s the historical backdrop – as my history teacher used to say.

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