Once in a while you need a book to relax, a book that you can read in one afternoon and, at the same time, connect with. That is what happened when I started reading 28 Days of Solitude by B.L Bruce- a journal which, if I was ever to keep one, would sound like that.
B.L. Bruce, a young writer, describes the 28 days spent into the wild, in a cabin, far away from civilization. What made her choose this solitary approach was her need to focus more on her writing. She needed this time alone with her own thoughts, in order to concentrate on her novel and her poetry. But once there she discovers it’s not as easy as she thought. There are days when she can’t create at all, but she never loses hope. When inspiration refuses to show up, B. goes outside and starts exploring the surroundings. Besides the beautiful descriptions of the wild nature on Navarro Ridge and around, we’ll also read about her writing process/ progress, her contemplations and evolution in a way or another.
There is something about diaries and journals that makes me love them. I guess is the banality of reading people’s life and discovering similarities between oneself and the others. It’s comforting to see others are also struggling in the same areas as you do (and that makes life a bit easier). Whatever the reason behind it, the true fact is that I love reading them. And B. L.’s work is no exception. Even from the first paragraphs you can see that she has a strong connection with words. Being a poet, the metaphors are always present while describing the nature that surrounds her.
I felt so connected with B.’s journal as she is going through the same struggles all writers go through. Being a young writer is not an easy job. People roll their eyes when you tell them what you do for a living (unless you are Stephen King, J.K. Rowling or other best-selling author). They can’t easily accept that writers work really hard and ideas don’t come easy. A perfect phrase can be searched for days and there are times when your mind cannot focus. It’s not like you sit down for half an hour and produce a master piece – even though that can happen once in a blue moon. You might find the writer’s block, but then, like a rainbow after the storm, the ideas reappear and you’re back on track. B. is no stranger to this and she points everything out throughout her pages.
28 Days of Solitude is an easy read, with lovely descriptions that make you want to visit that part of California, where the ocean is telling his own stories and the cliffs are always listening to him silently. You feel like you are there on a remote beach looking for glass or in the cabin chasing termites, spiders or ants. It is impossible not to be inspired when nature is so close and, once here, B. L. Bruce discovers more about herself and her working routine.
For being a young writer, for the beautiful descriptions that sounded like poetry and for the many other things I could relate to, I give this journal a 4 out of 5.