Lisa Romeo Recommends...

“If I’m stuck, I’m usually overwhelmed, and so I try to stop writing. I allow myself to do nothing. Daydreaming is undervalued! And it can be so restorative. Doing nothing is the hardest thing for me, and the thing I’m learning to embrace without guilt. I once fell asleep watching a movie about fly fishing, the most boring activity I can imagine (and mind you, I needlepoint). Yet that stillness, of a quiet river, an invitation to keep my mind still, is what I’m seeking when I stare at my neighbor’s tulips, the sycamore’s branches, cars sliding by. These are my brain’s massage table. I don’t actively meditate. But when I glaze over, when my gaze leaves the computer, I seek a wandering blank mindless drifting. Last night, the bright red walls of my home office held me spellbound. Other days, it may be the slant of sun through blinds, the dust motes dancing, a crack in a window molding, or the wing chair’s frayed arms. All are replenishment for an overstimulated brain in need of rest. As writers, it often feels like we can’t afford a break; there’s a deadline, a page undone, always something waiting. Yet the time taken to sit, to stare helps me return to the work, renewed.”
—Lisa Romeo, author of Starting With Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love After Loss (University of Nevada Press, 2018)

Photo credit: R. Ziebarth