Resorts aren’t designed for writing. Small desks facing a mirror where the only inspiration you get is looking back at your own insecurities and dysfunction doesn’t make me feel like writing. When I think about it, I have trouble writing facing a wall, I think it’s just me with a mild claustrophobic thing going on.
Most chairs around the resort are the banana lounge variety, (even on my balcony outside my room) which can induce a severe case of apathy and mindlessness. Pudgy tanned bodies lying in the sun, reading pap fiction novels, just because they’re on ‘holidays’. How does one even get up from a banana lounge elegantly anyway? There must be a secret no-one is telling me.
I’m having to face the mirror to write this and as I look up, there I am, looking back at myself disapprovingly. Who do you think you are? You think you’re better than everyone else because you don’t want to bake in the sun on a banana lounge?
I’m on a sunny tropical island resort with palm trees, waiters with trays of drinks (yes please), swimming pools, banana lounges and a calm ocean, that just laps ever so gently at your feet, but what do I do? Sit in my air-conditioned hotel cell facing a mirror, needing to write. This is my urge, this is my want. This is my therapy.
I scouted the resort out for places to write, but found none. There weren’t even any comfortable tables and chairs in the shade anywhere. Even the restaurant had skylights and huge windows making it too bright to see the laptop screen. Everything about a resort is designed to make it hard to write.
However there’s one wonderful and joyous thing that staying here has taught me and it’s the discovery that I’m a writer, a real writer. How do I know this? It’s not because I’ve had 3 books published with a 4th in development stage or that I write radio ads for a living, it’s that I needed to write. Not anyone else’s need, but my own. I was needing to write, because it’s how I make sense of things. It’s how I understand myself and the world around me (well try too anyway). In order for me to understand why I find lying on my back on a banana lounge such an unsatisfying thing to do, I have to write about it. When I write about it, I start to have insights, I begin to prize open the metal grate of myself and crawl inside and discover wonderful treasures that lay below.
I thought I needed a table and chair to write, but I didn’t even need that. The impulse to write (understand) was too strong. I’m now still sitting in front of myself in the mirror at the tiny desk in the hotel room and the other me is no longer looking back disapprovingly. He’s smiling, because I found him… and of course he has a beer in his hand.
Time to go for a swim.