Prior to my recent trip, I was working on a new story that just didn’t want to come together. There was nothing specifically wrong with it; it just didn’t feel right. I tried different things—I rewrote multiple sections, changed the ending and tone, altered the tense—but nothing made it click.
It turns out my trip came at the perfect time. While I wasn’t able to write, I had plenty of time to ruminate. I find scuba diving provides an excellent opportunity to think. No one can talk to me, and I can’t talk to anyone. It’s just me, weightless and self-contained, floating above coral reef in clear blue water. I had about ten minutes at the end of every dive (after I finished what I needed to do) to let my mind wander. During that time, I found a solution for my story problem.
It turns out that I had the wrong protagonist—I was telling someone else’s story. I’m in the middle of rewriting now, and the story feels much better. Perhaps it would be good for my writing if I traveled more often, or at least spent more time underwater.