10.07.2012

dispatches from a quiet place

 I'm on a writing retreat.  At a bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere.  For a week.


 my backyard this week.

I can count on one hand the number of words I've said out loud today.  I can NOT count on one hand the number of words I've written.  As I, ahem, may have mentioned once or twice, this hasn't exactly been my pattern as of late, so I'm a pretty happy girl right now.

There are gorgeous red-and-yellow trees outside my window.  A squeaky bed.  A desk, a table lamp.  I came armed with 12 pens, 500 notecards, 3 legal pads, and Scrivener.  I've gotten more done in the last 24 hours than I have in the last 6 months.

I need to put this quiet space in a bottle and take it home with me.

Also this view.

yeah.

12 comments:

  1. I don't want to distract you, so I'll just say :D

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    1. I will return your :D and raise you a *<):o)

      (That's a clown!)

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    2. (I have clearly been in a room by myself for 2 days...)

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  2. So happy things are working out for you writerly wise.

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    1. Thank you! It's both a joy and a relief to feel this inspired.

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  3. Sending you the most powerful good thought for good things at my disposal. (And any other sparkling sugar I can fling through the aether.)

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    1. I've been subsisting almost entirely on chocolate-covered almonds, so the sugar thing is right up my alley! (I'll also accept the good thoughts. You know, just to be polite.) ;) Kidding - thank you for all kindnesses hurled my way. I am basking!

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  4. Ohhh lovely. I wish you copious, poetic and easy words, more than you can conceivably write without a cramp :)

    And I want a bottle of that place if you figure out how to get it in there.

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    1. There is gentle rain falling outside my window as I type this. Seriously, what IS this place? As soon as I can figure out a way to bottle it, I will definitely be sending some your way. :) And thank you for the well-wishes! No cramps so far, so it's totally working.

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  5. Hello Jessica,

    I am on the lookout for other writers. Your retreat looks much like my home, yet I cannot concentrate the mind on what i need to do. Do you think it would help if locked myself in my study, kept my mind strictly on my work and ignored all distraction, food and drink included?

    I need advice and, possible a good kick up the backside as well prohibition from all blogging.

    The Wishbone soup lady brought me here.


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    1. Hi Friko,

      I'm glad you found your way here! I too have the frequent problem of not being able to concentrate my mind on what I need to do. That's why I ran off to this retreat in the first place, in fact.

      But while having this time apart and away has most certainly re-energized me, I don't know if the answer is for you to lock yourself away and ignore the world to get your work done. Making room in your life for quiet, and boredom, and freedom to not do anything but think is important, because that's when work gets done. But - I am learning over and over - forcing yourself into seclusion and berating yourself until you get something written usually means that whatever you're writing feels just like that: constrained, tight, bound up. And that's not the kind of writing I want to create.

      I can't tell you what will work for you, but here are some things I am trying to do: to build an attitude of joy and freedom around my work. To have compassion with myself when I cannot focus. To cultivate patience. To make room in my life for quiet. To give myself permission to be bored. (I find a lot of my best ideas happen when I'm bored, and if I fill that space with blogging or email-checking or TV, etc. then I never have the opportunity to have those thoughts in the first place.) To think of my writing as a practice - in the way that yoga is a practice or meditation is a practice - rather than as a goal that I can/should/must achieve.

      All things in moderation. Don't prohibit yourself from all blogging, but cut back if it's taking up more time than you'd like. Don't ignore all distraction, because sometimes distractions give you good ideas. Don't deprive yourself of food and drink! Your brain needs that. :)

      Let me know how it goes.

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  6. A room of one's own is imperative at times. At other times chaos creates creativity.
    Carpe diem. Or, at times the moment.
    It sounds like the retreat was good for you.

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