Monday 9 July 2012

Writers, retreats and holidays


So, here I am, on a three week holiday in Nerja, Spain. I’m writing for anything between nothing (very rare) and two hours a day. I’ve written three blog posts. I’ve finished editing one book I’d started before I came. I’ve also edited two more and one short story. Yesterday, I started a new novel which is a bit of a writing experiment. I’ve also done some work on a text book. I’ve read a lot and watched people a lot. That all sounds a bit hectic. But actually, the holiday has been very relaxing and there’s another six days to go.
So, what haven’t I been doing? I’ve not been looking at work emails, or dealing with publishers or carrying on the manic self-promotion that is normally part of my working day. I’ve done no more writing than normal - possibly a little less. But I have been more focussed on the writing itself than all that goes with it. Plus the people watching and reading have fed my creative juices.
Not writing to most writers anyway is like not cleaning your teeth. It really is rare that I don’t write every day. It’s usually only if I really can’t – such as when I’m travelling or have visitors.
I read an article in one of the free magazines here that claimed that low background noise –i.e. the sort of buzz you get in a café – or indeed on a beach – often aids creativity. It seems to be based on some solid research and I’ll be investigating it in more detail when I have a chance. And again, I’m buzzing with ideas.
Coming here anyway is a sort of pilgrimage and continues to serve as a retreat. I’d always wanted to write but I wasn’t entirely sure what. Strange happenings on the hills, astounding weather, miraculous caves and children running out of reading material the first time we came here convinced me that I wanted to and could write for children. Each time we have come here since the dreams and ideas have grown. I’m now living the original dream but the growth of the dream accelerates every time I come here. It’s possibly to do with the sunshine being so relaxing. Bathing in salt water is always good anyway. But I’m actually quite convinced there’s another layer of magic here. Long may it last!