Wednesday, January 16, 2008


What would you do if you could devote the next three months to doing nothing but writing?

What if you packed up your personal items, some clothes, your laptop, and maybe your favorite pillow and headed off to a writer’s retreat? A retreat where you didn’t have to cook or do laundry or clean up after yourself or anyone else. A place where the other residents are like you, all sharing a need to write, paint, sculpt, create.

You could finish a novel in three months. You might even get into the first or second re-write in that amount of time. You could write a poetry chapbook. You could create new worlds to explore—and be the hero in every one. After all, your great written work has been rattling around in your head for a long time. All you need is the time to get it written down. Time … that has been slipping by without a word having been written.

What would you write if you could find the time? How would you break up your day to be the most efficient and effective? Would you rise at dawn to get as much writing done as possible? Would you stay up until daybreak, allowing every thought to be recorded?

Or, would you shower (or not), eat a leisurely breakfast, gaze out the window at the variegated colors of flora and fauna and daydream? Would you think about friends, neighbors, and family fending for themselves back home? Would you worry about the dog’s next vaccination?

Writers are notorious for kidding ourselves. Sure, a job and kids, a dog or cat (or two), the spouse or significant other, all expect certain things from us. Especially our time.

That’s really why you haven’t completed your great written work, isn’t it? Lack of time.

So, as you’re finishing the task of writing your goals for the remaining 11 ½ months of 2008, decide whether you have the time to spend three months at a writer’s retreat or if you’ll have to squeeze writing in between other life events.

And then? Quit kidding yourself and plan accordingly. This is real life and time will not always wait.

(Linda wrote this post, but couldn't get in to post it.)

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