Last week I had the truly amazing opportunity to spend a week writing in Tuscany! Doesn’t that sound like a dream!
It was in many ways but it was also actually a romantic week away with my beloved husband on the way to a two week business trip to the USA. But hey, when you are in the middle of writing a deep and difficult book about your own life story and struggles, and spend all kinds of hours pouring it out onto paper (the computer), the idea of writing in the stunning Tuscany countryside while he rides his beloved bike half of most days, how could I resist.
Well this was the reality:
Had it been an actual writing holiday where I was there by myself or only with other writers, hiding away from the world of fast paced life, internet and busy people needing me for all kinds of reasons, then I am sure it would have been brilliant and should I get the opportunity to do that one day I will let you know how it goes! But hiding in my writing for four hours straight, unpacking boxes in my soul that have remained closed my whole life was HUGE, … and then suddenly having to switch context and be romantic and happy and soak in my surroundings and good food, … was tough. I had nightmares when I slept and woke exhausted instead of rested, so I wasn’t very good company and I didn’t do justice to the emotional boxes that I was packing. I landed up doing both badly I think and I often felt heavy when I was supposed to be doing something else that I really enjoyed.
I have always loved the idea of being able to hide from the world to write, and I can see why writers who have the resources and ability to hide away in a cottage on a mountain somewhere for months on end do it. I can also even see why some of them hide away in a dark room for months on end with a case of cheap wine and a gazillion cigarettes. But I’m a non drinker, non-mobile, busy wife and mother and I need to juggle all the parts that are me, including the writing part. My psychologist is also concerned that if I hide away I won’t ever want to come out again and so she won’t let me run off and write alone either.
But I thought that this would be a taste of it and in many ways it was… but it also meant that romantic holiday it was not!
Now I am in Las Vegas, the cesspool of humanity in so many ways and so far flung from my life story it isn’t funny. But I have a husband in meetings all day for the next five days and no desire to look at the scenery around me… and so suddenly my week of writing bliss is now! That’s a good thing but it wasn’t the plan. I guess I had always planned to write this week, but I assumed that the week in Italy would be the “perfect” writing week…
Have you ever taken time out to write and how did you match it to what and how you were writing?