The same loose format applies for when I edit.
In this way, I’m lucky. But also cursed.
While I’m flexible with my external environment, the exact opposite is true for my inner headspace. This means that I continuously search for better writing environments so I can finish the novel.
Going to Mexico to write, therefore, might be the best decision I ever made.
Why? Was it:
a) The surplus of vitamin D (non-existent in wintery Toronto)
b) The relaxed way they do things here (leading by example)
c) The fact that this was the first time I went to a foreign country purely to write (instead of, say, attending a funeral)
If you guessed e) All of the above, ding ding ding!
After the horror that was my month-long attempt at consolidating seven different drafts of one story into one solid final draft, I was on the fast path to burnout. I needed a change in pace and a change in place.
Somebody once said that you find yourself when you travel. Somebody also said that you need to try stuff to see what works.
I agree with both.
I’m now clearing 2,500 to 3,000 words a day, and they’re actually quality words.
Editing has also become easier. When you’re eating in a Cuban restaurant that once serviced Ernest Hemingway, you get a certain renewed strength.
I’m also reading more. Elmore Leonard is a great travel companion, and whenever I’m stuck on a passage or plot development, I just whip out Rum Punch and let my characters do all the hard work.
I thank Mexico’s culture.
And the people.
And the comically huge avocados.
A foreign country gives you permission to write the story that only you can write.
Especially when they have scenes like this.
Millie’s Note: Where do you write the best?