The Making of Two Lane Gems: How to write a travelogue without losing your mind

I’m not freaking out. Nope. Not at all. I’ve got this, I say. I scribble it on my whiteboard in all caps. I’VE GOT THIS. I breathe deep. Pace. Pour a rum and diet. Glance at the whiteboard and scoff. Take a sip.

And write.

I’m writing a book. It’s my second book, so you’d think I’d have things a little more under control. I’ve proven to myself and to the world that I can do it – I can write a book. That means this time around I should have more confidence, right? Nope. Because I’m a writer, and writers freak out – at least this one does. Even though I have to write like I have to love my son, talk to my mom at least once a week, and eat cheese for dinner twice a month, the idea of writing a book is enough to have me hiding in a corner covered by my great-grandma’s afghan.

The first book was eas…HA! Oh My! Wow – now I’m a humor writer? Let’s try this again. The first book was an education, in organization, in finding my voice, in trusting it, in taking criticism, and in patience.

That last lesson was perhaps the most important. Tonight I was organizing the photos into folders for the various destinations that would be featured, and I neared panic-stage as I realized just how many places we visited.

Maybe I should back up and not assume that you know what I’m talking about.

In 2017, my husband and I drove a southwestern loop from the Chicago area to San Diego and back, cherry-picking unique destinations in a hop-scotch random romp. “Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1: Turkeys are Jerks and Other Observations from an American Road Trip” told the stories of that journey, with tales of a WWII vet, the lowest bar in the western hemisphere, and the center of the world, to name a few. It was my first book and the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

Inserting Amazon link here because you know you want to read it.

From May 30 to July 3 of this year we drove a northwestern loop to the Oregon coast and back. We took more time, drove more miles, saw more and did more. It was research for Two Lane Gems, Vol. 2, and now it’s time to panic freak out pour a stronger drink write it.

Because you probably don’t have enough angst in your life, I figured I’d share a bit of mine, as well as some happy thoughts, like why I love storytelling more than I love horsies (and I ADORE horsies!).

Theresa Goodrich in her happy place feeding horsies

I’m also going to share useful tips for anyone thinking of taking the writer’s route. If you’re curious about how I organize 35 days worth of notes, photos, videos, and memories to create a cohesive tale, I’ll let you in on my process. I’ll also divulge my ups and downs and insecurities and moments of “dayum, I can WRITE.”

Basically, this is my therapy. (For which my husband thanks you. Profusely.)

Want to follow along? I’ve set up an email list just for my musings on writing. To which inner introvert says WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO READ THAT? But you do, don’t you. I don’t know how frequently I’ll be venting musing, but the email will go out at most once a week. 

Thanks, and I hope you’ll be amused and maybe learn a thing or two as we take this journey together.

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