Twenty years ago I told a good friend that I wanted to be a long haul truck driver. My plan would be to drive and have adventures, meet new people, see interesting places, and then in free time at the back of the cab would write. His wry reply, “I can tell you what the first three chapters are going to be about, the freeway, cars, and the black top.”
Well, prepare yourself for stories about trains as Amtrack is starting what they are calling a Writers Residency Program. Learn more details here: Inside Amtrak's (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers
Writers, poor in wealth but rich with ideas, will be able to take those long rides that allow one to focus on the act of writing. My wry old friend might add that these stories will be about hours on track, small towns without stops, and the abundance of interesting characters one may find on American rail. His cynicism is not shared. I’ve always found that these moments, mostly in the air, have been wonderful times to write. Environments of travel have fewer distractions, more focus, the mind is free to wander in the memory palaces of ideas and thought.
The outstanding questions posed in the article get right to the point – who is considered a writer, and where do I sign up?