Writing Across America: Social Stories from the Road

by Ken Mueller on February 16, 2012 · 5 comments

What do you do when the house you’ve been renting gets soldShawn Smucker out from under you?

Well, if you’re my friend Shawn Smucker you use the opportunity to head out on the road with your family and seek adventure. To be fair, the Smuckers were already planning this trip, but the housing situation helped make the decision a bit easier.

Shawn and his wife and four kids have started out on a four month journey in a renovated tour bus that is going to cover 10,000 miles through 33 states. First and foremost, this is a way for them to educate their children. But since Shawn is a writer, he is also using this trip to do something he calls Writing Across America.

Along the way they’ll be meeting up with other writers, including some mutual friends, Andi Cumbo in Virginia, and Eric Wyatt in Florida. The family is also hoping to engage in service projects along the way, such as working at homeless shelters, or finding ways to fight human trafficking. The more I read about this trip, the more I wish Shawn would have adopted me and taken me with him! (You can hear more about the trip in this television report from WGAL-TV).

All in all, it’s a great endeavor. But what makes this more special is that while they are on the road, Shawn will be blogging regularly, telling stories in his own unique way. You see, more than anything else, Shawn is a story teller. He has an incredible gift for relating real life in a very real and creative way. The Internet and social media will allow them to stay connected to both folks back home here in Lancaster County, as well as friends all over the country. The days of being disconnected on the road are gone. And Shawn has agreed to write a guest post for me about this while they are traveling across the country. (Shawn has previously written two posts for me here: The Internet is Destroying Me and What We Can Learn from the Amish about Online Communities.)

Shawn is a good friend, and one of many wonderful writers I’m privileged to know. I love what the Smuckers are doing and so I’m encouraging you to check it out as well. With social media, we have the ability to join them on their journey. You can subscribe to his blog, visit his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter.

How can you incorporate something like this into your daily life? Are you sharing stories from your time “on the road” or “in the trenches”?


Thanks, Ken. I'm glad you can join us on our trip (in a cyber kind of way). Besides, your porch would miss you too much if you actually came along.

KenMueller moderator

@shawnsmucker Well, you could put a porch on the bus. Glad to share what you're doing. Such a great opportunity!


  1. […] TweetToday’s guest post is from my friend Shawn Smucker who is currently in the midst of 4-month, 10-thousand mile journey through 33 states with his family. While on the road, Shawn is spending a lot of time meeting up […]

  2. […] Writing can be important for all of us, whether it’s our profession, or merely one of the tools of our profession. If you do any sort of writing, or want to write, I want to introduce you to a new resource from my friend Shawn Smucker, who has written a number of posts for me here on my blog, most recently about taking social media on the road with him as he and his family travel the country. […]

  3. […] is a guest post from my friend Shawn Smucker. Earlier this year, Shawn and his family took off on a ten-thousand mile adventure in a bus, getting a chance to see the country and meet all sorts of people. Now Shawn and his wife, Maile, […]

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