The Nomadic Writer

by Annette Young

I make no secret of the fact that I love to travel and, I suspect, there’s a whole lot more travelling to do in the future, it really is a case of ‘have laptop will travel’. I get to work in the most amazing of places and literally fill my senses with the most glorious of views. When I wake up in the morning, the sun is shining in through the window, the birds are singing and yet there is such a relaxed feel to the air. Life is certainly less frantic in Spain than in my native England, it’s easy to fit into the pace of life here – even for a workaholic like me. But the trick is to absorb life as it unfolds around you and to use it to fuel future writing goals. It’s easy to become distracted by the potential to roam more and work less but I believe that creative inspiration comes from deep within so when you feed the soul, you replenish your ability to write well.

Of course, travelling extensively isn’t for everyone. I won’t deny that the last house and office move was the worst ever and that I have felt mentally exhausted by the endless array of things that managed to go wrong, but, in all the times that I have moved house and searched for pastures new, mostly, the journey has been easy and efficient. But even in those worst moments, it has still been part of the adventure; you have to take the rough with the smooth. My recent move tested my resolve and endurance to the limit, which certainly didn’t help with the subsequent issues of setting up a new house and office space for the business. It does take time of course to settle and to regain that all important equilibrium. You can’t force it; you learn to go with the flow.

My new understanding has paved the way to an increased efficiency for the next move, at least I hope so, but we will see in time.

I thought leaving France would be a wrench, but in actual fact, I have embraced Spanish life quite well. It’s very different, less scenic but there are advantages and it also enables a fresh new perspective on life. I had never traveled much in my teens and in my twenties but from the age of thirty, took the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and then, when I was in my forties, I decide to move house and leave everything behind. This might sound extreme and I guess it is, there have certainly been highs and extensive lows in my journey so far. Moving away from all that is familiar impacts you personally, practically and emotionally, you leave behind good friends and loved ones, but, as a writer, you become more self-sufficient, you stretch yourself creatively, you learn to recognize good opportunities and walk away from bad ones.

Everything in life is a learning curve; it’s only by experimentation that you can progress. This may be a place where I can settle for a while – for how long, who knows? Wanderlust has a way of calling but perhaps I will keep this as a base and then travel more lightly. There are some wonderful places yet to see and each time I follow the urge to seek pastures new, I meet such diverse, interesting people and each adventure fuels the spirit, recharging the creative batteries adding a new depth of maturity to my writing.

This nomadic life isn’t for everyone but it can add a richness to the writing process. I believe it increases confidence and enables you to draw on a multitude of knowledge. It’s easier to understand the human condition and to comprehend behaviours that exist globally while taking a peek into the culture of others. It becomes easier to create rich descriptive passages, to conjure up scenes of beauty from beautiful coastal scenes to mountain ranges and to bring to life the quaintness of a French village against the vibrancy of a Spanish festival in full flow. I now just close my eyes and I am back in the moment, embracing a variety of cultures and breathing new life into my writing.

Whether you can embrace the nomadic life or, if you just wish to travel more, do so, because providing you travel with the eyes of a writer, wide open and ready to witness the colour of life, you will fuel your passion for writing even more.

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