Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Writer’s Retreat

I have had an annual baby for a while now so my writing methods change pretty frequently. I just keep updating my schedule as my schedule updates itself but at the moment, I can usually overlap naps for about 30 minutes.

This means I take ten minutes to write (I am in that first ten minutes right now!), ten-ish minutes to read one chapter (currently The Read-Aloud Family… loving it so much!), and then will run into the homeschool room for ten-ish mama-son minutes with A (today we’re painting a birthday gift for C) before little D wakes up ready to nurse.

I never know what I’m going to write. Sometimes I feel like journaling in my journal or in one of my kids’ journals. Sometimes I dive into one of the many fiction projects I’ve been enjoying. Sometimes it’s a nonfiction essay, like this one, which I later decide will either be set aside for the future or published on the blog the next time I’m online.

I’ve never (knock-on-wood) had writer’s block because my problem is really more of the opposite problem. I tend to start losing my mind because so many words and sentences and ideas are floating around in my brain, causing a log jam, that I wind up with the margins of my planner saying things like “eyes like glittering diamonds, heart as black as coal,” “congealed orange tacos,” or “torrential downpour, engine flooded, whiskey” (what?? What is that, self?)

The baby just finished getting in a tooth and Ryan has a lot of organizing to do out in the garage so I scheduled for myself a writer’s retreat.

I have seen other writers do this. They get a hotel room—my favorite is when they get cabins in the woods, goshhhhh—and they spend a weekend away from their families and the distraction of household chores so they can write, write, write. (I know about this because they Instagram much of it so how much writing is actually being done?)


I’m definitely not there with a five-month-old, but I am very excited to potentially write from 7pm-9pm (probably a solid 34 minutes after you account for all the kid interruptions since they somehow always sense when I have big evening plans). I have so many pre-baby memories of write-a-thons. I would spend hours writing at the picnic table outside our little trailer and at new-to-me coffee shops all over the place. Even when little A was a baby, I’d strategically plan naptime once in a while so I could be at a coffee shop writing while he was napping in a carrier on my chest or in the stroller right beside me. I’d pause to sip tea and decide on a name, then I’d dive back in until he woke up and I came out of a bleary-eyed trance a couple thousand words richer. 

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