My Writing Week in Andalucía
Last month I took myself off for a writing week in Andalucía, southern Spain. Let me paint the picture – chilled out white village up in the mountains, stunning views all around, late summer sunshine warm on my skin and copious amount of words being written every day.
Things don’t always pan out as you’d expect!
Okay, this wasn’t a writing retreat centre, more of a writing retreat on a budget staying with a family member; but still I can be quite disciplined and was assured I’d have plenty of ‘me’ time. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘me’ time was ample, it was just the writing muse that was missing. Hey, I know this can happen; we’ve all read from lots of famous authors how sometimes words just don’t flow.
That was me; the wine flowed nicely as the sun went down, sitting in the warm evening air outside a small bar, or on the terrace of a cosy restaurant with divine food and views to die for. Now it wasn’t a total washout – people watching makes for great research. I find their actions, mannerisms and turn of phrase quite fascinating. My handbag-sized notebook was always close by to capture anything that caught my attention, quickly squirreled away for future reference.
Day trips in Andalucía
Once I accepted that there wasn’t a cat-in-hell’s chance of reaching my 3000 words a day quota I found myself relaxing more. A trip to the beach with lunch in the pretty Peurto de La Duquesa was a lovely way to spend the day. Even better when I was inspired to write a little back story for Joy, the main character in the novel I’m currently working on – a follow up to The Way of Life, my debut novel!
Another day saw us take a trip along the very winding road to Ronda. The mountain scenery along the way is breathtaking. The historic town of Ronda is famous for its dramatic escarpments and views, cobbled streets, and the deep El Tajo gorge. Visitors make a beeline for the 18th century Peunte Neuvo Bridge which crosses the 100m chasm below.
If you’ve never been to Ronda, you should! I’d have loved to stay longer but unfortunately the pesky cold I’d developed (probably from the multiplying germs in the aeroplane cabin) and the heat of the day I had to bail out and retire to bed.
So, here I am, home again with little in the way of a satisfying word count but a definite feeling of having had a relaxing holiday... which is always a good thing too!