That man outside Espresso Royale sitting, staring, having a conversation with himself or possibly someone he once knew who he hasn’t seen in years. I could write about him, but how? What do I want to say, why is it that he catches my attention? Next… Oh wow, that couple I just had to ring up at work had an interesting dynamic. The girl bossed her boyfriend around after buying a $140 sweatshirt. “Don’t pull of that tag, it will rip a hole in the shirt?! I told you not to do that.” These small occurrences throughout my day add up, I want to write about them all. There are so many ideas, so many thoughts, so many details that would make a beautiful story. But who would that story reach? Why would I take the time to write it if it’s just for me?
From all of this, I would say that a difficulty I am having when approaching this project is writing. I haven’t always has this problem, but lately I am so overwhelmed with second guessing my writing that I don’t even write. Writing is not the problem though. As is normally the case with minds, my mind is creating a problem out of nothing. In order to solve this problem, I tried to recall the last time I found peace in writing.
When I travel I find writing enjoyable and inspiring, as writing should be. Being in a new place makes writing enchanting and important again. When traveling, I am motivated and inspired to write because I always think to myself, “what if I never come back here? How will I remember all the incredible people I met if I don’t write about them?” My most recent trip to Scandinavia left me with a journal full of lifelike descriptions of people. Rolf, the rotund Norwegian sailor who loved Elton John and whose eyes disappeared when he laughed. Martin, the petite French man who loved singing songs off the Juno soundtrack and who referred to himself as the “little chief”.
The writing I do while traveling is special to me because it allows me to go back in time and relive my international experiences. By reflecting on how much I enjoy writing when I travel, I realized that I don’t have to be overseas to write in a similar way. The man outside Espresso Royale is just as interesting to me as my French friend Martin. The couples I ring up at my job have just as much to offer to my writing as any couple I have seen or overheard walking in Norway. There is a story in everything, as cheesy as that sounds, and my travel journals are proof to me that my writing does matter to someone, even if that someone is myself.
This realization has given me more confidence moving forward with my project. I plan to making reminding myself how much I enjoy writing when I travel part of my writing ritual. When I start questioning why I write, or who I am writing for, I will pause and remind myself that I don’t have to be out of the country for my writing to be interesting.