Monday, July 6, 2015

Break Away From Normal

I just returned from a five-day writing hiatus spent in New York City. Growing up in/around Denver, I thought I knew what a city was. We have skyscrapers, right? Isn’t that what a city is? Ha. New York goes for miles and miles, and if you haven’t spent much time there, you are constantly amazed with just how huge it is.

While it was strange to not bring a laptop and pound out words every day, it was refreshing. Whenever I’m at home and I skip a writing or editing day, I feel guilty. I’m sure many of you know the feeling – we’re writers. We write. All the time. But sometimes we need a break, even from the things we love, so we can gain a new perspective and maybe even a new approach.

I think I needed a new perspective. I love Denver/Colorado, but it’s just so normal to me. There’s something extraordinary about sitting on a subway and hearing people speaking in Portuguese, French, and German. This world is not a single swipe of paint across a modernist canvas, but a masterpiece of impressionism.  

On Saturday we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a place I could have spent weeks in. I spent about ten minutes each gaping at Picasso’s Woman in White (Femme assise, les bras croisés), then  Domenico Guidi’s Andromeda and the Sea Monster. Maybe it’s weird, but paintings and sculptures make me just as excited to write as reading Frankenstein or Sabriel. So much creativity, passion, and time has gone into these works of art, and I like to think that as writer, I might contribute just a tiny bit to that world.

Today I feel invigorated, like January through June was a warm-up, New York was time to stretch, and now it’s game time. Let’s do this, my brain is saying. It speaks like a toddler hyped up on sugar, but that’s probably because of the coffee. LET’S DOOO THIIIIIISSSS!!!

I have a lot of writing friends who have felt discouraged lately. And I get it. I spend some days in a panic, wondering why in the world I ever thought writing was a good idea. If you’re worried or feeling blue, or if you just can’t get those words down, maybe it’s time to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Sometimes we need to let ourselves off the hook, go stay in a hostel, and celebrate the Fourth of July with a bunch of New Zealanders, just so we can break away from what’s normal and re-discover all that’s awesome in the world. 

Random traveling fact: Hostel bunks get more comfortable every night you sleep in them. Weird, I know. 

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