Sunday, 6 December 2015

The mountains are calling (and I must go)

Ten years ago, almost to the day, we left to spend the winter in the mountains. One snow season turned into two, so happy were we in the great wide open. I’ve written about this time before - how it was thanks to snowboarding that I started writing, and how, actually, snowboarding isn’t so very different to writing – but this post? This post is about doing it all again.

But figuratively. And that’s the kicker (not an actual kicker, the like of which I once enjoyed*…)

*Gratuitous airborne shot 

This winter I'm going to work hard to imagine that I’m back once again in that bright, white world; a place of freedom and focus and soul-lifting energy. I need it, and I think my writing needs it. There’s nothing new about a writer tearing up their work-in-progress first draft, just as there’s nothing rare about a person struggling to juggle parental responsibilities with, well, just about everything else, but… this is the first time I’m experiencing the two in tandem. Stepping sideways, just like I did a decade ago, feels like the way to go. I want to look at the mountain that’s before me, and tingle with anticipation. I want to keep the kind of focus you need when you’re hurtling down a powder field, watching out for crevasses or tree wells or rogue rocks, but with looseness in your body and joy in your heart. Maintain that fine balance of control and abandon. Fall down and get back up again. 

So for the next few months my fourth book and I are heading to the mountains. In mind, if not in body. My hut at the bottom of the garden can, in the right light, sort of pass for an alpine refuge. It’ll be the opposite of hibernating in many respects - writing and flying, wind in my hair - except perhaps the digital one (Twitter & Co won’t be coming with me on my winter trip). I hope to see you on the other side, with plenty of words (and rather less chance of broken bones).

Stay warm. Stay cool. May your festive season, and beyond, be merry and bright.

Love Emylia X