On a break…

Packing for my trip to Rome last week, choosing which notebook to take was a big issue. It sounds so daft, but I just assumed I would be so inspired by the amazing history and culture surrounding me that every few minutes I would be stopping to scribble down ideas for stories or poems.

I was wrong.

blackboard business chalkboard concept

Other than listing the crazy amount of sight-seeing we managed to fit in each day, I’ve not even looked at the notebook (a cute little Moleskine, since you were clearly about to ask). It’s been weird, and brought home just how close to obsession some writers (myself included) can find themselves. On Monday night, in my hotel room, I sat with my notebook in front of me, staring at the blank page, feeling utterly lost until I managed to pull myself together, reminding myself that I was in one of the most historical and magnificent cities in the world, and I should focus on that, rather than not being able to write about it.

So that’s what I did. Wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere and the buzz of the place was wonderful, and I didn’t give my notebook or writing a second thought for the rest of the trip. Somehow, it was almost liberating, focusing on enjoying myself, rather than wondering which ghosts would be lurking around the corner, or who might have walked the same streets throughout history. Now I’m home, I feel refreshed, both physically and mentally, and despite being a busy break in terms of fitting so much in, I think leaving the pen and pad in my bag has done me the power of good.

Since getting back, I’ve managed to focus again, and feel genuinely excited about things again, something which I think was at risk of dipping away if I had carried on the rate I was going before Rome.

It’s definitely made me think about my writing-life balance, and I wondered how other writers or committed readers handled this, if it was an issue for you too? I’d love to hear from you…


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