Friday, October 01, 2010

Getting Away

You've written until you're almost tired of it. What you wouldn't give for a retreat, right? One of those get-out-of-Dodge residencies that lets you evade the trials of your everyday life, the ball and chain that keeps dragging your muse down to the ground.

First, set aside your manuscript. Save it and put it away.

Second, set up a retreat. If you want to apply for formal retreats, fine. They take a while to process. However, I'm speaking more along the lines of an informal get-away. Make it a week, if you can, to allow your creative spirit to settle in, get a grip and break a sweat. Such venues can include:
  • Visiting a relative and asking for solitude
  • Booking a cabin at a national park or campgrounds
  • Or if you can't afford to pay for a place, leaving the house each and every day, relocating to a bookstore, library or other fresh place to write from dawn to dusk.
If you prefer a writer's group, why not choose each person's home as a writing studio for a different day of the week? In a five-day retreat, a person has no more than one day of responsibility for feeding the crew.

However you design your creative week, the points are these.

1. Use fresh eyes to attack that manuscript you haven't seen for a few weeks.
2. Use the fresh location to view the story with new vigor.

When you write too long, in the same chair, reviewing the same words, your brain reaches a point of fatigue. Jumpstart your manuscript with change. It's like opening curtains to a dark room. It's the same room, but somehow the wallpaper takes on a whole new color.


Bookie said...

This is a great post, Hope. The relocating to a bookstore or any fresh place is a good idea that we can all use, need to be reminded of now and then!

Jessie Mac said...

This is so true, Hope. I have to moving otherwise I feel my mind is collecting dust.

BECKY said...

I love it when your advice coincides with what I'm already thinking I need to do! Thanks! :)