Two weeks ago I wrote about my plans to “shake things up”. Well, this was the week and I’m calling it a complete success! I’ve spent the last three days on Ft Myers Beach, just me and my notebook on the beautiful Gulf shore with hundreds of my closest friends. . .but that added to my success. I sat in the warm sand and listened to the surf and the gulls; watched small children play in the water (LOL), retired couples walk hand-in-hand (smile), and parasailers soar overhead (bucket list!); and I wrote. I wrote and I wrote. Drafting in long-hand, as hoped, opened up my creativity. I wasn’t tempted to go back and edit, the way I am when I’m on the computer. I wasn’t confined to writing where there was an electrical outlet and no damaging sand and water. And note paper doesn’t have that sun glare problem! I could go anywhere. I wrote on the beach and poolside. I wrote in my room. I wrote sitting at an outside table of a little Greek restaurant while enjoying one of their delicious gyros. My notebook and pen went in my beach tote every morning and followed wherever my wondering feet led me. When I was inspired, when a plot question resolved itself in my mind, all I had to do was find a place to sit and write.
Each of those three days I wrote one chapter. Today I will write a fourth and tomorrow a fifth. I estimate a total of 40-50 pages completed by the end of my trip. To some writers that might be a set-back, but for me it was very productive. After all, I needed to leave time to walk, shop, and read; time to allow the tropical sunshine to recharge my half-frozen northern brain.
I’m currently at my son’s house, but they’re at work leaving me alone with the cat (Panda’s hiding). No beach distractions but plenty of time to write while sitting on the lanai. Saturday’s plan is the Naples Zoo and then Sunday morning it’s back to Wisconsin, with the cold and snow that goes with it this time of year; but the fire that fuels my story has been lit and I will continue to write once home.
When I retire I’ll be able to spend more time on the beach, that’s the goal. In the meantime, I now know I can, indeed, write anywhere. All I need is a notebook, or two or three, and a handful of pens. Warm beach sunshine and white sand between my toes is the cure when the familiar winter cabin fever sets in.