Several times over the past few years, I’ve heard about writers — some of whom are my friends — going on extended writing retreats, being extremely productive, and generally feeling renewed, inspired, etc.
I myself have been very lucky to be able to attend the annual BG Literary retreats. But as amazing as they are, they’re only for a weekend. The retreats I was hearing about lasted at least a week, sometimes significantly longer.
And every time I heard about one of these longer retreats, I’d think: “Wow, I’m so glad they got so much done! That’s so great!”
Okay that’s a lie.
I mean, I did think that, because I’m supportive of any and all strategies that result in more writing from people whose work I like.
But I would also seethe with jealousy. ”No fair!” I would think. “How do they just get to take a big chunk of time and go somewhere secluded and lovely to write?”
It took me an astonishingly long time to realize that they could do it because they planned to do it. They considered their schedules and other commitments, budgeted time and money, found a place, and carved out a block of time to focus on writing.
Huh. I guess I could do that, too.
So, I’m gonna. Not immediately. But come November, I will spend ten days in an undisclosed location. If you’ve been reading for a while, this is not the Usual Undisclosed Location, but rather an unusual undisclosed location. While I am there I will write.
Once I figured out that I was a grownup, and as such could actually exert a certain amount of control over my capacity to hermit myself up for an extended period of time to write, it wasn’t hard to plan exactly how, where, and when the hermiting would happen.
The hard part was giving myself permission to plan.