The Traveling Writer

R. B. Wood

Former technologist, world traveler, & storyteller.

photoI believe I’m living, breathing proof that writing doesn’t have to be done at a desk. Or in a den. Or even in an enclosed room at all. I’m fortunate in that my job allows me to travel.

Actually my job requires me to travel. Okay, okay…my job IS travel. And while the jet-setting lifestyle, the white sand beaches, the crystal clear pools, the gourmet food, and the cold drinks are nice, they sometimes get in the way of my real love, writing. 


Wait. Strike that. Those things ROCK. 

Truth be told, anything that gets in the way of writing is just an excuse. Writing can be done anywhere, anytime, any way a writer can. And in today’s 21st century, tech-filled world, that’s never been more true.

I’ve written some of my best work on an iPhone in a hotel lobby, and some of my worst work on my laptop in a dead-silent dining room. I’ve written some of my best work in Evernote on an iPad, and some of my worst in Scrivener on a Mac. The place and tools don’t matter. But I admit, the location does tend to stir my creative juices a bit.

A few weeks ago, I was on a cruise ship sailing out of the port of Taormina, Sicily, headed for Greece, and while my wife was getting ready for dinner, I sat on the upper deck with a bottle of Peroni, my laptop, and sunglasses. Three hours later, after Sicily had faded into the background and the open Med stared back at me, I had two complete chapters written. 

Yeah, maybe I won’t quit the day job anytime soon…it’s actually helping my writing endeavors…


Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.

Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. More information is at, and you can always find him on Twitter (@SteveUmstead).