Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Writing (3500 miles) outside my comfort zone

So, I’ve traded my writing desk in the Annex, Toronto for the seaside town of Brighton, in the southeast of the U.K. Greetings from the sunny (yes, sunny!), and mild, British seaside. Outside the window, the fields spread out for miles and miles, with sheep and horses grazing on green, lush grass. Someone just walked by in shorts.

Since I’ve only just committed to my daily writing routine, and it has been going fairly well, I have to admit I’m a bit worried about what might happen while I’m here. To my writing routine, that is. I’m 72 hours in to my vacation, and this posting is the extent of my writing.

When I consider the gym routines, vegan eating plans, weekly Economist reading goals, and other commitments I have made in the past (only to abandon 2 months later), my 3-week-old writing routine is in serious jeopardy.

I must say, though, that while the last 72 hours have not fared well for my keyboard, I’ve spent some real quality time with my camera. Which is now rammed with scenes that spoke to me on some creative level. If you ever visit the U.K., you will suddenly see how A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, and Harry Potter came to be. Bricks that have weathered centuries, the structured gardens, the wind whipping through alleyways…for me, the U.K. was put on earth to inspire story-telling.

If Toronto has such story-inspiring hot spots, I’ve never stumbled upon them. Toronto has oh so many wonderful things it can boast about, but mysterious passageways, underground cities, drafty stairways, and medieval lore, are not among them.

So, I am feeling very inspired. I just need this inspiration to lead to some actual creation. Which…isn’t happening.

Number of words written towards my novel? 0. Number of ideas dreamed up neither related to my novel, nor fleshed out or outlined in any useful way? ~ 100. So, it would seem I am better able to lose myself in my own imagination this side of the Atlantic, but focus and put word to e-paper I am not.

So maybe the point of the next two weeks is to note-take without discipline – harvest my inner story dreamer-upper…take it all in while I can. And write at least 2 paragraphs a day – even if they are complete rubbish. Perhaps a break in my routine is exactly what the editor doctor called for.

So, how can you break your routine this week?