Monday, December 12, 2011
Today I want to talk about writing retreats. I'm in the process of revising my novel and in desperate need of A Room of My Own. Since this is difficult to come by in a house with four kids, two dogs, two cats, an assortment of fish and frogs, and one husband, this weekend I checked into a hotel to find that quiet space where my mind could wander.
I grabbed my novel and left the house on Friday afternoon, not returning until Sunday afternoon. (Let me pause here to say, Yes, I have a Very Supportive Spouse. If you are a writer, you must get yourself one these.)
I have been writing for a long time. I was not under the illusion that I would be sipping wine, Thinking Great Thoughts, surprising myself with my brilliance. No. This would be work. I brought my laptop, a hard copy of my manuscipt, and my iPad (I'm thinking of having it surgically attached to my body).
I set a goal for the number of chapters I wanted to get through, and as soon as I checked in, I got to work. Dear reader, I thought I was prepared. I write every day at home. Every. Single. Day. But I've never spent a weekend immersed in my work.
It was invaluable.
It was exhausting.
I got home and wanted to crawl into bed. It probably didn't help that I ate like an 18 year old college student--caffeine and carbs--all weekend, but diet aside, I did not expect to come home utterly worn out.
And yet, what else should I expect? I'm creating this world. Everything in it comes from somewhere in me. Shouldn't the act of creation be exhausting? Isn't bringing something new into the world worth the effort?
It is for me. Coming home exhausted means I poured myself into my work, and as a writer, isn't that the point? Isn't it about finding your own voice and putting it out there? That's not easy.
This weekend, I got through a large amount of text, and I was able to think through some issues I was having with the book. I feel like I have a handle on this stage of the rewrite. That will probably change later, but for now I'm feeling good.
And tired. I'm also feeling tired.