I’ve just returned from Lake Como in Northern Italy, which is one of the most beautiful places I have travelled to. Some views of the mountains and lakes are simply ‘picture perfect.’ In addition to the breathtaking views on full display, there are also quiet, hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. You stumble across a small, forgotten theatre inside an imposing villa. Or you turn into a street soaked in late morning light, unnoticed by many of the tourists –  inviting you in. 

It was a wonderfully sensory experience, fountains crashing around the lake, boats banging together and their horns announcing their arrival into the pier, buskers playing their hearts out – providing the soundtrack to unforgettable moments in time, perfect pasta dishes – simple and fresh, families talking and eating behind closed shutters and doors, an understated style and attention to detail…All held within the city walls.

Sometimes I wrote but other times, I just absorbed it all. It’s the kind of experience that takes root, that you know will stay with you and nurture you. When I wrote, I remembered Natalie Goldberg’s advice on writing in an unfamiliar place and focussing simply on what’s in front of you. This is an extract from one of my short writes: 

“We are back by the pier and there are two men sitting in front of us on a bench and they haven’t been talking – not until now when one of then is on the phone. It took me back to when Emma and I were in Bellagio all those years ago. The pace was very slow. It felt more like where are are sitting now…right by the lake.”

Try this! When you visit somewhere new – try setting your clock for 10 minutes and write – describe what’s in front of you / what you see. It’s fine if you jump topics. 

These are the type of experiences that we store in our treasure chests – so that we can open them when we need to. These are the types of experiences that build stories and memories that we want to re-visit. These are the days that make you excited for the future and what is to come but also value every single moment that you are there.

I tried to disconnect from work when I was away but what I do is so much a part of who I am that it was pretty impossible! I am  excited about continuing to move Creative Writes forward. This Autumn, I will be providing the space for you. You will be able to write your memories, your dreams and share imagine stories. You will be creating your own legacy and making your mark in this world. 

I look forward to seeing you at a Creative Writes Workshop. Take your pick from the following dates – further information on the booking page, All workshops are in central Muswell Hill, North London:

This post was originally published here.

2 thoughts on “Discovery”

  1. I love that idea of writing what is in front of you! What a great way to start whenever you get ‘stuck’ for a way to begin…thanks so much, your writing transfers the relaxed style of your holiday!

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