I spent last week at the beach with my family, in a rental home in Avalon, New Jersey. Whenever I stay in a stranger’s beach house, I wonder about the owners: where they live, how often they use the house themselves, why they would choose white carpet in a beach house…
Of course then my mind wanders to the (entirely theoretical) question of whether I’d want a beach house of my own. Every time that question enters my mind, I always come to the same answer: no.
Aside from not wanting strangers to sleep in my bed or have their babies spit up on my couch (er…what?), what I love about traveling is visiting new places. I don’t want to be tied down to one specific destination and, in the limited amount of time I have to travel, visit only that place, in the same house every time. I’d get bored.*
That’s what I love so much about the writing journey. It’s different every time, and it always takes me to different places. Sure, the general process of writing a book is the same — you write and revise and write and revise and write and revise — but the adventure of writing a book is always full of surprises. Characters behave in unexpected ways, plots take twists and turns, you end up places you never expected. Each book has its own mood, its own high and low points, and the process of telling a story is permeated by a sense of discovery and wonder (and, okay, sometimes frustration).
So while I’ll take consistency and familiarity in the everyday things — my morning cup of coffee, my favorite sheets, my comfortable desk chair — I like a little adventure in my travel and writing.
*That said, if anyone wants to bequeath their tax-free Tuscan estate to me, I’m totally game.
What about you? Do you like visiting the same places or new ones, or a mix of the two? Is writing an adventure for you, or more of a comfort?