Truck Driving and Writing: A Perfectly Imperfect Union

This post is by a friend and guest writer Lydia Oyetun­ji who writes her own Live… Love… Share… blog, she is also a writer at Two Drops of Ink. Today tells us about the chal­lenges of writ­ing on the road. Enjoy…

 

Lydia OyetunjiWhen peo­ple think about a writer and the con­di­tions in which they work, the fol­low­ing comes to mind. A com­fort­able office invad­ed by books, print­ers, with mind stim­u­lat­ing art and sooth­ing jazz or clas­si­cal music play­ing in the back­ground. Then there the less for­mal writ­ers who may pen great pieces from the com­fort of their couch, whilst sit­ting in bed or from the pas­sen­ger seat or sleep­er berth of an 18 wheel­er. I am a social media man­ag­er, writer and female truck­er. We earn a good liv­ing as truck dri­vers, but writ­ing is always my first love and passion.

When I tell peo­ple that I’m a truck driver’s wife and I write while on the road their response is how excit­ing it must be and I must always have some­thing to write about. It is in fact fun and excit­ing, there are many great pho­tos to be tak­en, awe­some scenery for inspi­ra­tion there are also chal­lenges to writ­ing on the road as well, you must become a chameleon and learn to eas­i­ly adapt to your envi­ron­ment. Truck dri­ving and writ­ing are the per­fect union, but not until death do us part!

CB Radio by Robert Chlopas CC0 Public Domain by PixabayIf you are the type of writer that has to have a qui­et space for your cre­ative juices to flow, then my envi­ron­ment would send you into a lit­er­ary drought. The roar of the engine, chat­ter of the CB. At a truck stop you have the sounds of trucks enter­ing and leav­ing, air horns being blown for one rea­son or anoth­er. The loud hum of a refrig­er­a­tion truck is enough to dri­ve any­one insane. I found all of these dis­trac­tions to be a great chal­lenge in the begin­ning. Leav­ing me to write only dur­ing the ten hour breaks or thir­ty-four hour restarts if we chose not to run off of recap hours. This was not enough for me, I had to learn to tune out these dis­trac­tions.

Have you ever been rid­ing in a car, bus or train and attempt­ed to jot some­thing down? The move­ment can make it almost impos­si­ble! For me the task is ampli­fied by ten, with the unex­pect­ed hit­ting of brakes from car dri­vers cut­ting off the truck, bump and bounce of the bad­ly worn roads, con­stant sway of the trac­tor from the 40,000 pounds or more load you’re pulling. Writ­ing under these con­di­tions makes for bad pen­man­ship. Try writ­ing and revis­ing a one-thou­sand-word blog post can be a daunt­ing task if you’re unable to fig­ure out what you wrote. Typ­ing is a bit eas­i­er, but I like to take pen to paper then type out my final draft.

My hours are almost NEVER the same, NOR nor­mal, one day we may start at 4 AM and end­ing at 4PM, the next day we are on the road by 1AM and tak­ing our ten-hour break by 12PM. Most times we have recapped hours that enables us to con­tin­ue to work and for­feit a thir­ty-four hour restart. Fatigue affects your abil­i­ty to con­cen­trate or think prop­er­ly, there are times when I set out to write and it takes me longer than usu­al to express myself. Need­less to say I have quite a few red mark­ings through­out the pages in my jour­nal. Many arti­cles or blog posts have not made the cut or have had to be revised a few times before being deemed wor­thy of pub­li­ca­tion. A few cups of cof­fee and the wind in my face seems to help kick my cre­ativ­i­ty into gear in the ear­ly morn­ing hours.

Driving in the wet CC0 Public Domain by PixabayWhen the wheels are in motion at night writ­ing is like skat­ing uphill. Writ­ing in the dark or by the light of dash­board lights is very frus­trat­ing. As we all know it is ille­gal to dri­ve with a light on inside of any vehi­cle. I find myself pow­er­ing up the com­put­er for light or switch­ing on a minia­ture flash­light. Most of my writ­ing is done from day­break to sun down and dur­ing breaks. A book light or a voice recorder would be a good invest­ment to write dur­ing the dark­ness hours. I’m get­ting to the age where hold­ing a thought until the next day is rock­et science.

Inter­net access is a very impor­tant tool in my writ­ing process. I must have a con­nec­tion for research, a the­saurus, Ever­note and of course to post on my blog. Depend­ing on where I’m geo­graph­i­cal­ly locat­ed, be it up North on the bor­der of Cana­da to the deep south of Louisiana. My Ver­i­zon Jet­pack ensures me a strong con­nec­tion the major­i­ty of the time! It is the best prod­uct for cost effi­cien­cy and ser­vice along the road.  We do trav­el areas such as small towns and wood­ed back roads where no ser­vice is avail­able. Times when there is no inter­net con­nec­tion, brain­storm­ing the next arti­cle or blog post is the best pos­si­ble option to max­i­mize my effectiveness.

Some­times, I miss being curled up on my couch and indulging in the excite­ment of writ­ing. There is noth­ing like the for­ev­er muse of writ­ing on the road, even with all of its tri­als and tribu­la­tions. Our per­fect­ly imper­fect mar­riage cre­ates beau­ti­ful works of art. So with patience and per­se­ver­ance my writ­ing from the inside of our 18 wheel­er will con­tin­ue. When you love some­thing so much, noth­ing can keep you from it!

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7 Replies to “Truck Driving and Writing: A Perfectly Imperfect Union”

  1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

    I am not sure there is any such thing as the per­fect writ­ing envi­ron­ment, being in an office you may avoid dis­trac­tions, but you avoid life. Lydia shows how her life on the road can also become a place where writ­ing is pos­si­ble, despite all the dis­trac­tions, or per­haps in spite of them.

  2. Reblogged this on Live…Love…Share!!! and commented:
    If you have not vis­it­ed Peter Giblett blog https://​gob​blede​goox​.word​press​.com/, you are miss­ing out on great infor­ma­tion for writers. 

  3. Thanks Peter for allow­ing me to share my writ­ing expe­ri­ences on your blog. It was a plea­sure writ­ing this guest post for you.

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      No prob­lem, I enjoyed this arti­cle immense­ly it shows some of the chal­lenges we all face.

  4. […] of dri­ving, but not as many tales to tell as a pro­fes­sion­al dri­ver, such as a bus dri­ver of long dis­tance truck­er. I have trav­eled wide­ly, seen many places, but there are also many places I have yet to trav­el to […]

  5. […] I would like to thank Nan­cy for her con­tri­bu­tion and also include a link to the pri­or guest post by Lydia Oyetun­ji, called “Truck Dri­ving and Writ­ing: A Per­fect­ly Imper­fect Union“. […]

  6. I had no idea, Lydia. I grew up mak­ing runs with my step-father. I spent many weeks truck­ing. I know exact­ly the envi­ron­ment you write about. How won­der­ful that you make this work for you. I’m even more impressed and inspired.” You go girl.”

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