I have surprised myself many times this week, and with it comes a fresh sense of creativity.

I took a few days off and my idea was to “go bush”, as they might say in Australia. I live in a town north of Barcelona and I had an image of myself relaxing in nature, taking long walks with my daughter to discover different flowers and plants, and generally unwinding. My yoga teacher had highly recommended a secluded hotel. We got to the hotel located in the forest up a mountain, but it was a steep, tiring drive, and a remote place where we had to keep to the hotel’s mealtimes and the walks were not easy… My short stay there did not fulfil my expectations. I left feeling a bit stressed.

The next stop on my little break was a place that is inland, Catalunya (near Lleida). I needed to go there to get information about some alternative medicine for my mother.

There we were on a flat plain, in a basic hotel in what felt like the middle of nowhere… There were farms, and fields, and not much else to be seen around, but we soon realized we were a short drive to some wonderful places. We visited a large lake that is a bird sanctuary – we had an impromptu picnic surrounded by trees and soaked up the beauty. We also discovered a town famous for what we were told was “graffiti”, but it is actually a town filled with incredible murals. The artwork is truly breathtaking.

So the part of my little break that I thought would be relaxing, didn’t relax me. But the part of my trip that I did out of necessity, turned out to be the most wonderful part. The art at the “graffiti” town (Penelles) gave me a lot of creative energy. It gave me a fresh perspective on marketing because it made me see it as a form of art. I plan to incorporate more art into my life for inspiration. See below a few photos of the murals in Penelles.

My takeaway from my little trip is that we always have to be open-minded. Our expectations and preconceived ideas are not always right. It is like that with our writing. We might have fixed ideas about what our book should be like or how we might get it out to the world, but things can often evolve differently. We have to be open to that evolution and how things unfold. Our writing can have its own life, we have to let it breathe, and we have to let go of any rigid ideas that might stand in our way because they might block the creative process.

What will you do this week to surprise yourself?

PS. Another surprise from last week is that I managed to update my website, and it was so quick! With the help of the wonderful Isabel Monte (www.yourtechieisabel.com) we managed to refresh my home page to a lovely gold that is in line with the Alaya Books branding, and also update the Alaya Books for Children page with a cute animal foot-print design. Thank you, Isabel! Please check it out here.