For the first time in many years, I’m going on a writing retreat that is more than a day and a half—I’ll be gone for 5 days! I’m very excited and really nervous.
- What if I don’t get anything done?
- What if nothing I write is good enough?
- What if I waste this time when I could be home with my family?
I could go on and on but I won’t. Because…
- What if I get a ton of writing done?
- What if all of my writing is good enough?
- What if I use this time wisely and deliberately while I’m away from my family?
I think those are better questions. I think I’ll answer those questions.
If I get a ton of writing done, it will set me up for a productive writing year. If all of my writing is good enough, then I know I will be practicing my craft and improving my writing skills. If I use this time wisely and deliberately, I will go home feeling that I’ve accomplished something and knowing that I can find other times during the year to write.
Okay, now I’m really getting excited.
This writing retreat is designed by me; And I’m going to design a writing retreat that totally works for me.
I’m lucky enough to have a place to go for almost a week with a good friend (who is also a writer) and I will write until my behind gets numb, then I will either go swimming (in the lap pool!!) or go running until I’m exhausted and sweaty. Then I’ll shower and repeat. At this point in my life, that is my idea of a great writing retreat.
Other than my journal and my computer with my novel drafts on it, I will also bring a few books—of course!
- Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
- Your Book Starts Here, by Mary Carroll Moore
- Finding Your Own North Star, by Martha Beck
- Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
- The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
I also have the latest copy of Writer’s Digest to read.
Morning pages are on the agenda, as well as taking a good look at my current work-in-progress before I dive in and just start writing.
Whatever comes of this week, I know I am making a big commitment to myself as a writer by taking this week away from my daily life and devoting it to that thing I keep saying is very important to me.
Wish me happy writing!
How can you commit to your writing this year? Is there half an hour or half a day that you can dedicate to writing this week or next?
Diane MacKinnon: is a writer, blogger, mother, stepmother, family physician, and life coach. I wanted to start this blog post like a game of “Going on a Picnic.” Remember that one? “I’m going on a writing retreat and I’m bringing an apple, a bunch of books, a candle, a doodle pad, an e-book, a fountain pen, a gum eraser, a hoodie, an iPad, a journal, a kettle for tea, a love of learning, a mountain of M&M’s, a notebook, an open mind, a planner, a quagmire for my protagonist to get out of, a realistic sense of what I can accomplish in 5 days, a sense of humor, a talent for playing with words, unlimited time, variables to play with, wit, x-ray vision to see into my draft, yogurt, and zeal for my writing!”