Project 52, Week 27 — Don’t Advance, Retreat!

I receive an email every couple of weeks from an organization that broadcasts announcements of interest to writers in Oregon.  These emails often contain information about writers’ “retreats,” and I often read these announcements longingly.  Three to four days in a house on a windswept Oregon beach, with time together sharing with other writers, but plenty of time and solitude for thinking, planning, writing, walking on the beach or in the woods, time to ponder, time to sleep, time to just BE. Something tells me a large part of the pull for me is the time to just BE.

These retreats are usually very reasonably priced, though out of my league currently, and inconvenient with my current schedule and responsibilities, but I like thinking and dreaming about them, and someday I’ll go to one, maybe more. However, in the meantime, I can create a small retreat of my own. Writer’s Digest magazine had an excellent article a couple of years ago, “Create Your Own Mini-Writing Retreat”  by Kathryn Haueisen Cashen, and at the time I don’t think I truly appreciated how much one’s writing can be enhanced by writing away from home. I usually get up early to write and feel that since no one’s up yet I am having enough “quiet time” to work, but something tells me I need to shake things up a bit and try a different venue. There are plenty of places nearby where I can get away for a couple of hours or so; coffee shops and quiet small restaurants, even the park up on the hill (now that the rainy season is ending).

I am still having trouble organizing my time effectively, but I expect that to improve very soon. Our household will be changing a bit, and that will give me more space and time to better adjust my schedule. As I get used to these changes I’m hoping my ability to sleep will improve; last night was another night of relatively short sleep hours and I feel a bit foggy today. Maybe I should use that sleepless time to write, rather than ruminate. Oh well, I’m rambling here and it’s time to get on with those responsibilities…

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