I had a image in my mind for my month of vacations, and it began, every day, with me writing. In my mind I saw myself producing page upon page of fabulous material which would bring me ever closer to finishing a first draft for my new novel. In Roatan Island I pictured myself sitting with my laptop in my lap on the beach, the wind caressing my hair and the sun blinking in and out of my eyes (such a romantic image). In Prague I imagined myself writing away in a cafe, surrounded by literary-looking types. And in Israel I specifically planned to write every day at my aunt’s house, seating by my grandmother’s little table upstairs.
The result? In Roatan Island I hated everything so much that my mind was not open to creativity. In Prague I walked with my boyfriend from morning till night and was too tired and jet-lagged to think about blogs or romances. In Israel we rushed from cousins to grandmother to brother to friends, and I only wrote once. At least that.
Now I’m home, and I feel like a truck has driven back and forth over whatever order I had in my writing life. I can find a smidgen novel here and a piece of a blog post there, but putting them together seems impossible. I don’t remember how to get back to the routine I had before. I’m disappointed I didn’t fulfill the writing expectations I had. And mostly I just have no idea how to find the flow again.
Coming back from vacation is always hard for me, but most often I face an opposite problem to the one I’m feeling now: usually on vacation I am my better self, I write, I exercise, I spend a lot of time in the fresh air. And when I come back I feel like I’m losing my better Sigal to everyday life, worries and chores. But coming back is much worse when my better self never showed up at all!
So how to get back to writing, I ask myself. This is a corner of joy, not of complaining, and I already whined enough last week. How do I retrieve that rare joy in writing which permeated every moment of my life for the three months before we left on our trip, the confidence in my imagination, the connection which I felt with my dreams?
Perhaps if I let go of how I expected myself to be on these vacations and allowed myself to feel the enjoyment I received from spending time with Dar, my family and friends, I will open the way for the writing to return. Perhaps by writing this page I am already opening the door. And perhaps I held the door closed because I was afraid of the flood of words waiting behind it, yearning to be written. But writing is one area of my life, I really do not wish to dam.