Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nothing Like a Writers Retreat to Get You Back On Track

Being able to do nothing but write - and being forced to write -- is heaven on earth. Even if you don't have kids under foot, the day-to-day stuff gets in the way, especially if there is a spouse or loved one in the vicinity. I also have two demanding cats, who think they are neurotic French Poodles i.e. love me, want me, hold me, feed me. Wait, that's my husband, too!
Then the phone rings, the handyman drops by, the dishes need to be done and what's that dust bunny doing over in the corner like that? There are days when I will make ANY excuse not to write, including cleaning out the laundry room or answering every email I've gotten for the past several months.
But when you've paid good money to be somewhere to write, driven hours to get there, joined other writing buddies to create something, making excuses is not going to cut it.
All I had to do was make my bed. End of story. Three meals a day were provided - fabulous food, I might add - and I could write, write, write. So I wrote, wrote, wrote. It was great. I also got several ideas for my new mystery series, which is a bonus. That's what happens when you get to think about nothing but you and your work.
I remember reading once Mark Twain had a secreted place on his summer estate, a small, one-room building, where he would go off by himself. I think Ernest Hemingway used his home in Key West in much the same way when he was there. You ever been to Key West in the summer? Believe me, there's nothing to do but sit and pant. You may as well jot down some words while you're at it.
Everybody needs a place that says "Here's where you work." So, my writing buddies and I decided to try getting away and do nothing but write together once every quarter.
Now I'm home and I still feel productive. I feel invigorated. I feel...wait a minute. Ellie, my youngest cat says she needs to be brushed. I'll be back with you in a sec.

3 comments:

gail roughton branan said...

Heaven on earth, Heather. That sounds...oh. Excuse me. Dog has to go out. Dog needs to come in. Husband can't find channel with THE game. Dog ate remote. No wait, grandson hid remote. Husband tripped over grandson's train tracks. Dog ate part of grandson's train tracks. Spaghetti sauce bubblin' over. Daughter on phone, needs to collect grandson from overnighter.

J Q Rose said...

Oh yes this sounds like a guilt-free time. All attention devoted to writing with no other responsibilities. Tell me more about how your writer friends decide where to go and how to organize this.

Heather Haven said...

Gail and Janet, thanks for stopping by! It is a guilt-free time and I loved it. We are planning to get together, as we all live in the Bay Area, once a month for one day at one of our houses. Coffee supplied. I think sending out the word to nearby writing pals would be the key, Janet.