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Updated: 4 days ago

Being a writer on the road. (June 28th, 2021) by Melanie L. Wells-Alvarado

I don’t see myself as a writer on the road, but the reality is, that I am. I always bring myself with me, thus it never occurred to me that I was on the move.

But, I’ve never had a desk to create my stories on most of my writing now is done on my laptop on a cosy spot at home, or wherever the wind takes me.

Years ago, during my New York City days, I used to sit on the platform waiting for the subway to come by and I would start to write somehow the intense outer noise of the city life created a mask on my thoughts

and I found


My thoughts began to speed write so I sat down and put them on paper.

There is my train… and away it goes.

My words, were too good to get up and hop on.

I’ll catch the next one…

Many trains came and went and it was not until I was completely satisfied and felt all my writing that I would close the notebook and look up to catch the next train.

I love this vision, my years in New York City,

were the years that set me free. So many misconceptions and labels. I became a writer, something I wanted for such a long time.

I sold my photographs framed alongside poems that I wrote.

I kept a pocket size writing pad with the softest, creamiest paper, a fountain pen with brown ink and a box of 8 brightly colored crayons.

Sometimes I would color my emotions. No words needed.

Other times stories would pop into my mind and the luxury of a bit of brown ink would make them come to life.

I felt extravagant with my writing tools even though they were, simple, inexpensive tools.

I felt rich.

I felt alive.

I felt whole.

And with a giant smile

I walked away from whichever place I was sitting, gliding through life.

I need to move I need to feel free.

Once, I tried on business shirts to apply for a ‘formal corporate job’, right then and there I knew, it was the wrong thing to do. I freaked out and felt totally suffocated by the shirt and what it represented.

Being on the move is my nature It’s in my soul,

dancing with the wind, moving with the water writing here, there, and everywhere.

These days I wake up early.

With laptop in my arms and a cup of coffee with soy milk, I sit and contemplate the beauty of the sunrise. I do love sunrises. I am lucky to have a great view from my small cottage home.

I sit and let thoughts go out, allow words to come in.

Often, I feel that the writing is automatic, I do not premeditate what I will write.

Writing, for me,

is so liberating.

I love that I can do it anywhere.

In New York City I lived on a sailboat with my partner, and we sailed from the city to the Caribbean Islands.

It was magical indeed.

During passages on calm days, I would take out papers, thread and needle and make beautiful, simple notebooks, would use brown craft paper for the inner pages and a thick watercolor paper for the covers.

White ink was perfect for the soft brown of the pages, so, with a new notebook in hand I would write, draw simple patterns and write some more.

During stormy weather lightning flashed and lit the pages, reading was as close to writing as we could get as it was impossible to hold a pen or pencil still.

Allowing myself to say that I am a writer has made a huge difference in my writing life. I feel stronger, I give myself more time to write and I started a blog 9 years ago

writing sparingly at times and more at others always having an audience.

I don’t need an anchor for my writing, a tiny corner or nook where I feel comfortable is where I write best.

Writing is with me ALL the time.

May you always allow yourself to find your PERFECT writing place.

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Updated: 4 days ago

Finding time away without the distractions of daily life is paramount these days if we are going to get ourselves into the habit of creating. We're all essentially creatures of habit but these habits can morph and twist to become a prison if we don't take control.

So if you're like us, you'll relish the chance to get away and carve out some 'me-time'. You don't have to travel all the way to Scotland to do this; you can find your own 'me zone' near you, but whatever you do, make sure - if you can - to pencil it into your calendar. For those dipping their toe in the 'retreat' idea, start small and think in terms of a day or two to get you into the zone of being alone, ready to confront your inner demons or princesses. You'll be amazed at who you meet as you journey inward.

Having a little overnight bag secretly (or overtly) tucked away focuses the mind. In it, we recommend putting together a little writer's or creator's toolkit so that you're always ready whenever the mood, the time and the finances allow your escape.

Here's our top list of essentials to put in your 'overnight' bag.

Make sure whereever you go, you're going to feel comfortable and yourself. Pack a gorgeous silk dressing gown for night-time writing, some scented toiletries to make you feel like a goddess, a hip flask for day-time romps around the neighbourhood of your choosing, a warm shawl for comfort when the weather turns chilly - even if it's 20 degrees outside, your favourite skin-kissing outfit, the one that you adore and live in at home (we want you to be comfortable and feel like yourself), a little bottle of your favourite tipple (non-alcoholic if you don't drink), a gorgeous empty notepad for all your doodlings, a phone charger and pouch, your tablet or laptop, an inspirational paperback to keep you company, and a calm soul ready to soak up every last bit of atmosphere.

Get to know a character in your work-in-progress, and have a conversation with them as you drive, or train-it to your destination. That twinkle in your eye could be your passport to endless adventures.

Keep an eye on our shop as we rally together and stock our boutique with gorgeous pieces that can make up your writer's toolkit. Or send us your own preferred list and we'll get straight on it for you. Here's to going wild, and retreating from it all.

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Updated: 4 days ago

Writers need time to think and time to be. The most beautiful ideas often start to percolate when alone. And in Scotland, you’ll find the wilderness and the beauty to capture even the most tired imagination. Nan Shepherd wrote about her forays into the wilderness of the Cairngorms and how each walk in the mountains inspired her with a fresh adoration of life itself.

She wrote about the senses, about how the Cairngorms made her feel to the core of her being. She wrote about the Cairngorm mountains and created characters out of them. They became ‘living’ to her, hence the title for her famous ode to nature The Living Mountain.

In Scotland she found the headspace she needed to write and write beautifully. We, at 8d Press, feel the same. Whenever we venture out into nature in Scotland, we become overwhelmed with ideas and storylines and our creative fire erupts volcano-like.

Space and peace and quiet are the fuel for the creative fire and 8d Press wants to nurture that creativity in you by welcoming you, as soon as we are able, to our writers’ retreats in Scotland.

Watch this space and sign up to our list to be kept in the loop about our plans for retreats in the future in Scotland.

From us to you, love 8d Press

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