My office today

My office today

Whenever I pack for a flight, I am sure to stuff at least a couple of unread Writer’s Digest magazines into my shoulder bag.  WD has been a primary inspiration for me from the very first issue I ‘stole’ from a laundromat, long before I ever thought of becoming a writer.  Steve Holt’s article Take Your Writing Away in the May/June 2015 Inkwell had my writer’s brain fully engaged before the flight attendant pointed out that my nearest emergency exit may be behind me.

Holt begins with a question: “Considering planning your own retreat – just you and the blank page?”  As a matter of fact, Steve, no.  Not until you brought it up, that Is.  But now that you mention it, I can’t wait to try it.

His article is a review of his first extended solo writing retreat.  By his own admission, it wasn’t perfect.  And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing that.  Because sometimes I need permission to be not perfect.  The article gives me tips on how to make the most of my first (love that word ‘first’) self-directed retreat. It talks about setting specific goals. About what to consider when choosing the location (am I inspired by the serenity of a quiet lake – or the frenzy of Mardi Gras?).  Holt talks about eating healthy foods, exercise, reading good stuff, and paying attention to how the whole process feels to me.

Two tips in this short article really spoke to me.  The first was to sketch out a daily schedule.  Love it.  I’m definitely a sketch-out-a-daily-schedule kinda guy.  He even included a sample schedule that I think might work for me.  The other tip was to leave my other work at home.  Ouch.  What he says makes sense, but that would put a lot of anxious pressure on me.  My other work is a little like the monster in my childhood closet.  Even though I close the door, I know it’s still in there.  I think I’d rather have him out in the room where I can see him.  So, my first imperfection will be to insert my other work into my daily schedule.  We’ll see how it works.

Office politics

Office politics

This trip is perfect for staging my first self-directed writing retreat.  I’m away from life’s normal distractions, I’ve sketched out a daily schedule (which includes my other work) and I’ve set some goals.  I’ll let you know what I come away with.

Btw, writing blog posts is one of my goals for this retreat.  [thumbs up]

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