One Writer, Many Roads by Sue Ann Jaffarian
When I first met Debra Goldstein, it was in February 2019 at Murder In The Magic City in Birmingham, Alabama. I was one of the guests of honor for the event, and I was just a few weeks into my latest adventure, that of being a nomadic writer. An adventure I call The Novel RV.
On December 31st, after buying a Winnebago Travato Class B RV, selling or giving away most of my belongings, and retiring from my decades-long career as a corporate paralegal, I hit the road full-time. I had been writing mystery novels for nearly twenty years and had several popular series under my belt. The best known are the Odelia Grey mysteries and The Ghost of Granny Apples mysteries. My goal for my post-retirement life was to write full-time while traveling this beautiful country.
I started in Los Angeles, California, and headed east. I had an adventure on my first day by running into a freak snowstorm. There have been several unplanned adventures in the six months I have been on the road. Some have been unpleasant, but most have been fun and exciting. I’ve met some different and interesting people, have checked items off my bucket list, and caught up with old friends. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with many of my long-time readers and some of my writing colleagues.
But am I writing? After all, writers write. The answer is YES! I’m writing a lot. I write most every day. Some days I write for an hour. Most days I write for several hours. In addition to working on novels in my current series, I am working on some new projects. I keep a daily journal on Patreon of my journey, which will eventually become a travel book titled I Sleep Around. I also write articles for Winnebago’s GoLife Blog. Having only written novels and short stories before, I am really enjoying adding more diversity to my writing career.
So where do I write? EVERYWHERE! I have a small table in my van that serves as my “office,” and I have a portable table and camp chair that allows me to write outside. I’ve written at the beach, by lakes, in the desert, and in the mountains. I’ve written in Walmart and truck stop parking lots. I’m writing this at the kitchen table in the home where I am currently house/pet sitting in Utah.
I used to be one of those writers who could only write at my desk, on my laptop, in my apartment. I wouldn’t even write in a coffee shop. Those days are long gone. Now everywhere is my office. Every new town or road my inspiration. Now it’s one writer, many roads. Or maybe that should be: One writer, many opportunities.
One question I am asked often is: “How long do you plan on doing this?”
My answer every time is: “When it stops being fun or I am no longer able to do it.”
One of my favorite quotes, which I have fastened above my galley in my van is: “There will come a day when I can no longer do this. Today is not that day.”
That is true not only of traveling, but of writing.
Today is not that day!
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Sue Ann Jaffarian is the author of the popular Granny Apples Mysteries and the Odelia Grey mysteries, as well as other novels and short stories. As of January 1, 2019, she became a full-time nomadic writer, traveling the US while living in a Winnebago Travato camper van. She is also a free lance writer for Winnebago’s GoLife Magazine and sought after as a motivational speaker.