I’m visiting relatives in the US this week, and spent Monday and Tuesday nights in a darling little cottage at Worlds of Fun Village. I can’t stop thinking about what a great writing retreat it would have made!
I’m sure you’ve read anecdotes about how this writer checked into a hotel or that writer escaped to a friend’s cabin to start or finish a book. It makes good sense. Being someplace that’s Not Home makes it easier to ignore the thousands of things at home that need to be done. A writer can sit down and really concentrate on his or her writing.
What I liked about my cottage could be duplicated in a lot of places.
1. Power. My cottage had electricity, but in a more rustic retreat, I would make sure I had batteries for my computer, or I might even switch to long hand for a change of pace.
2. Food for the writer. I stashed water and yogurt in the fridge, and nibblies on the counter. The grocery store was not so far away, so if I had stocked up, I wouldn’t have to leave for days.
3. Entertainment. This is a double-edged tool. I feel guilty about sneaking away from my family for a weekend, but being near an amusement park meant that I could have sent everyone away for the morning, and gotten a solid block of writing time in. Also, blowing off steam in the park during the afternoon, or relaxing in the hot tub in the evening can induce that relaxed state that brings about creativity. Good for them, good for me.
4. Wi-fi. This place had the perfect internet arrangements for me. I couldn’t actually connect in the cottage, but if I had had a fact checking emergency, I could have run up to the office for all the bars I needed. This may be hard to duplicate, but there are many nanny apps that can turn off my internet for me.
Some of you may have noticed my use of the conditional in this post. I just couldn’t drag myself away from family fun time. But my family let me drag them to fabulous manmade caves of Subtropolis. George Diaz, the antagonist of my book, The Djini and Ms. Jones, wants to build an underground mall to save the little town of Evanston from economic starvation, and I got a good feel for the atmosphere underground.
So, the trip wasn’t a washout. The kids will be in school in two weeks, and I’ll have time to write again — either by stealing away to a cheapie beach bungalow, arranging a staycation, or just blocking out some time and erecting my mental barriers. I have a primed pump, so let the writing flow.
How are you making time for writing this August?