My recent trip to Las Vegas offered a few differences than the ones before. First, I took the entire family, making for some interesting, a.k.a. frustrating, adventures. The mode of transportation became the second change. Instead of a flight from Denver, I decided to drive the 800 miles to save a bit of money. I didn't expect a spectacular show at the time I made the choice.
My kids enjoyed Hoover Dam, the Bellagio water show, and M&M World, even though they griped at every conceivable moment. I, on the other hand, found the drive across Interstates 70 and 15 to be the best part of the trip. A born and bred East Coast boy, I always flew across the country for my fix of hot weather, smoky casinos, and $4 bottled water. I never knew what I was missing following the Colorado River out of Colorado and into Utah.
The magnificent starkness of the changing landscape astounded me. Every exit of a tunnel or canyon or climb up a mountain revealed a scene no photo does justice to. With barely anyone else on the road I could look around and drink it all in. Not too much, though - I didn't want to end my vacation with a plummet down one of the canyons. Even on the way back home I remained enthralled at the view, especially the parts I missed traveling at night on my way to Las Vegas.
In the end I was quite glad I traveled the road less traveled, and it got me to thinking if I do the same thing in my writing. Many of us tend to stay the same path because it's easy to navigate and get off as quick as possible. However, where's the sense of adventure in that? True, we have a obligation to our readers to provide something familiar, but that doesn't mean we can't twist it up once in awhile to get their hearts beating like they did when they picked up our first piece. In fact, some readers anticipate it.
Don't disappoint them or yourself, and take the road less traveled on your next vacation or trip into your writing world. You never know what exciting scenery is ahead of you.
Have you taken a physical or mental road less traveled?