Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Returning from paradise

From time to time, you get to live the dream and that's how 2014 has begun for me. I've just got back from a two week writing retreat with some of my favourite people in the world. Two weeks of writing during the day, and then chatting, eating, drinking during the night.

It's such a wonderful environment. Everything else gets put away - responsibilities, work, even doing the housework - in order to indulge fully in being a writer.

You can think about writing, spend hours staring out the window, and no one minds. You can disappear from a conversation to furiously write something down and everyone understands. You can stop in the middle of a piece and cry your frustration to the sky and someone will have a chat and help you work it out.

Everything is about story, and the industry, and dreams and aspirations and fears and worries.

It's wonderful, but like paradise, there's the snake. You can become so caught up in this world that you lose touch with reality and when you return, it's a real downer. You can also put on copious amounts of weight, but I'd prefer not to focus on that :)

So even when you're in paradise, it's about finding balance. Keeping yourself centred and secure, so you can keep going when paradise inevitably fades away.

It's the same with the darkness that so many of us are drawn to in our reading and writing. You need the balance of light to keep yourself even.

I've crashed back down to earth with my first day back at work and I'm already knee deep in reality. Somehow, I need to keep that joy going as well, because that's what helps fuel you as a writer - the joy you find from sitting and playing with story, with characters, with words.

I already know 2014 is going to be a big year (can't make any public announcements yet but BOY) so now more than ever, I need to find balance. Maintain a sense of reality, but recognise and celebrate the moments of paradise when they come.

What do you do to find balance in your life? I'd love to hear your ideas.

The beautiful Snowy Mountains in Australia, where I've just spent the past two weeks writing.


KerrelynSparks said...

Congrats on your good news, Nicole! Beautiful photo of the Snowy Mts-- I would love to see them someday! Keep the faith, girlfriend!

Anonymous said...

It's cold here in Georgia. We'll like you said if it's under 40 it's cold. I'm ready for warmer weather.
But while it's cold I'm doing lost of reading. ;)