I have to commute every day for more than 3 hours. Sometimes more, depending on the Bay Area traffic, almost as bad as the one in Bucharest. I’ve been doing it for almost two years now. Only me, the tunes from Sirius satellite radio, and the packed highway stretching in front of me.
It sounds crazy, but I learned to enjoy these hours. The South Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains are always beautiful. Most of the drivers around me are normal, relaxed people, so I’ve not witnessed any road rage incidents so far. And even more, I have a lot of time on my hands to think of my novels.
Writing a novel in one’s spare time is not easy. A writer needs to spend a lot of time thinking about how characters interact, how plots overlap, how ideas evolve from one another, and how everything ties up together. The long commute allows me to spend uninterrupted time thinking about all this.
Without this long drive every day, I am certain that I wouldn’t have been able to put much time into thinking about the plot and the characters, finding plot holes and deciding how the action will develop. To end up with a cliché, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Or, as we say in Romanian, “Tot răul e spre bine.”