Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Writing Retreat

So, I alluded that I had some extra time last week. That's because the children were with their grandparents. We live in the suburbs, so a rural setting is quite the change -- a large garden to weed and pick from, a tractor to ride, movies to watch. The kids had a grand time and I was grateful for the gift of time.

And never will I complain about not having enough time to write because this whole week, although I had the time, I still only spent only a couple of hours each day on my writing (ahem, half of it was in day-dreaming) and the rest in other activities. I cooked wicked spicy Indian food, read a lot, played the piano, prayed the rosary, danced along with a dance video, took long walks, and even had a date night with my husband -- dinner at a Thai place followed by Ironman 2 (I love all these movies based on the old Marvel characters). It gave me a taste of what it's going to be like when the kids fly the nest. Quiet, but nice.

Which got me thinking about writing retreats, where all your needs are taken care of so that you only need write. The funny thing is that when you most need this sort of time, you have to have child-care if your spouse cannot take time off from work. And by the time the kids are grown, you don't really need it ... because you can create your own retreat at home. Don't be like me, though ... I enjoy too many other things besides writing.

I am very, very lucky that I won a couple of scholarships to writing workshops before my children started school because once they did, I've not wanted to be away from them for too long. Our time together is short ...


Anne Spollen said...

I've seen your name before, but just went on Verla's and clicked your blog.

Nice blog!

I do the same thing. On the rare occasions when my kids are all busy (no grandparent care here, alas) I organize the pantry or garden and end up having only a short time to write. Maybe that sort of meditative time is necessary to write; we're figuring stuff out on a subconscious level.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Anne. A lot of my writing happens during quiet times, when my hands are busy and there's no talking, so I did relish the peace and quiet.

Mary Witzl said...

Never underestimate the power of daydreaming!

A few years ago, a good friend of mine invited me on a trip to the Highlands after another friend canceled at the last minute. Ther was almost nothing for me to do but write, eat, sleep and enjoy myself. Perfect, right?

I got almost nothing done. It turns out I need diversions like vacuuming, jumping up to get the wash off the line, and yelling at the kids to turn down their music. When they finally leave the nest, I believe I'll have to borrow someone else's kids or go sit in the midst of their chaos, to write.

Vijaya said...

I think you have to be mentally prepared to take advantage of time that is offered, Mary. I think if it happened suddenly, I'd loaf around as well ... because how often do we get to do that? But as Anne says, I think we need to do these other things while the subconscious works out story problems.