Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shifting gears from the retreat

For 8 full days, I was on a writing retreat. Other than some kitchen chores and occasionally checking emails, I had all my time free to write and be with my characters. I wrote each morning first thing for a good hour in my room, watching the light come up through the alders in the marsh. Then I moved to the kitchen and did my morning pages journaling for another hour over tea and breakfast.

Most days I went back and reread what I had written in the early hour and then planned to do something else for a while but the story and the characters kept talking to me and so I'd write a good while longer. Then I'd check email in the other building but while I was doing that, I was really thinking about what to write next. The same thing happened when I took my 2-mile walk down the road in the late morning. I'd be letting my mind wander but it always came back to Frankie and Lola and what was going to happen to them next and I'd come back and write some more and the day would drift away like that.

I wrote a lot, 10,000 words, and now I'm back full tilt into my other life of paid work and the gym on a schedule and fixing all my own meals and running my own errands and fielding client questions and talking on the phone to family and friends and loving on my cats. It's a wonderful life I have, but not so conducive to hanging out all day with my characters.

So I've been feeling a bit frustrated since I came back. I'm getting up each morning and writing for the early hour but it's a shift from the retreat, knowing I can't just drop in when I feel like it. I may have to sort out something in addition.

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