Be a Renaissance Writer

by Joshywashington Dec 23, 2009
Becoming a Renaissance Man or Woman isn’t easy but it will make you a better writer and yes, a better person!

A RENAISSANCE person has developed skills in a number of disciplines. Well versed and accomplished, they strive to better themselves in as many fields as possible.

Achieving maximum Renaissance-hood is admirable for anyone, but for travel writers, being well rounded in a number of fields can lead to more creative and productive life.


You are a creative. You skipped gym for the writers club and eschewed the soccer team for the school play. However, being physically adept is a key component to your new Renaissance status. Aside from exercise contributing to positive mental health, a true Renaissance person knows that the body must be cultivated as well as the mind and spirit.

This doesn’t mean you must be an Olympian. Visit the gym. Bike and hike. Walk with friends or take David’s example and kayak down a river.

Whatever you do just make sure your body is moving. Your mind will thank you when you are sleeping better, thinking more clearly and feeling stronger.


Already an avid writer? Then paint, sketch, sculpt or photograph. Diversify your creative outlets by including fields you have never tried. It could be as simple as grabbing some watercolors or taking a walk with your camera. Spend time pursuing artistic skills that will compliment your existing talents. Branch out and start writing in different forms and genres. A Renaissance person should be able to compose anything: a poem, an essay, or a short story, over a single latte.

Each artistic field you engage will only serve to strengthen your writing practice and your new Renaissance lifestyle.


I know, you think you can’t sing. But try. Learn to play an instrument or pick that old horn your folks spent a fortune on. Being musically inclined was a key component of the ideals of the Renaissance. If you are musically hopeless then cultivating a broad appreciation for music is second bet. Get savvy on classical music and learn to identify some of the seminal composers and their best known works.


The keystone of a Renaissance person is an active and adroit mind. Many Ren. folks of the past were prominent scientists and philosophers. One was expected to have a working knowledge of the science of the times and important philosophical subjects.

A good place to start to get brainy is The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Study up on the major players that have shaped human thought and come to the Christmas conversations with a new philosophical prowess!


People aspiring to the Renaissance Ideals were expected to speak and understand several languages. If those high school Spanish classes didn’t leave you fluent then start with some common phrases. Find a language group and meet to chat and to practice.

Us traveler types have no excuses in this Renaissance dept. Grab some software, study abroad or online…whatever you do, get speaking in a new language.


*Public Speaking *Animal Husbandry *Sommelier *Architecture *Finding Truffles *Traveling the World *Reciting Poetry *Preparing Perfect Salmon * Social Service *Invention *Medical Knowledge *Web Design *Carbon Sequestering *Map Reading *Sword Fighting *Improvisational Theater *Blogging *Beer Brewing *Calligraphy

It takes time and effort to become a Ren. Person, but the pay off is a well rounded, creative, healthy and intellectual life that will enrich your travels and your writing.

Alright, da Vinci, let’s see what you got!


What do you think it takes to be a well rounded “Renaissance” person? Have you known any Renaissance people in your life? What made them different?

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