Slightly insane, but worth it.
If someone invites you to a writing retreat, say yes.
I spent last week at a wonderful retreat with fifteen writers. I managed about 10,000 words on my new project, napped a lot, and ate an absurd amount of pie. Pecan pie and chess pie and chocolate cream pie andÂ lemon meringue pie and a few more that I am forgetting. Pie, pie, pie.
It was fantastic just to be in such a free space, where I had nothing to do but write. No reason to get up early, no external obligations, nothing but me and my iPad and the good example of other diligent writers (and pie).
I learned that I can happily write for hours while lounging comfortably on the couch with my laptop on my belly; this was a huge surprise, and it was probably worth going just for that little bit of self-knowledge.
It was also interesting to watch which patterns persisted even out of my usual environment. I really do like to be done with the day’s work by 5 or 6 and have the evenings free; I really do need a day off after a big word-count day; I really do need a good night’s sleep if I’m going to be worth anything. I’d thought that these patterns were related to the constraints and commitments and frustrations of my regular life — but they persisted, and now I have a marvelous clarity about them.
And that clarity? Makes it easier to just accept those patterns and start learning to workwiththem, instead of struggling against them.
Now to figure out how to integrate the things I figured out, and get my writing momentum back in my regular life. Perhaps pie is the answer?