Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Retreat is a Retreat…

Initially my plan was to work with an editor on my manuscript while in retreat at Centrum. But that was before a spring virus wrestled me down, and I got two months behind (with an average daily word count of 500 a day 5 days per week, that means a lot). So my aim was to make up for those two months and write, and write and finish my book. Did I do that? No. Which doesn't mean my characters left me alone, far from that. They accompanied me wherever I went. Early in the morning on the beach Jake for instance would whisper he'd been there, done that, and please pay attention to all the philosophical thoughts that cross your mind, will ya!

Half way through the week I recalled why I hadn't opted for three meals a day at previous occasions: In order to write I've got to stay in my room! And while I'll try to remember that point, I have no regrets about the hours spent at the Commons interacting. For if there was anything I craved after bunkering down in my writer's den at home, it was the company of other writers. Instead of giving myself a hard time for not making up for the lost time behind my desk in the spring, I enjoyed this Centrum retreat as a retreat from my office and isolation.

Meanwhile taking a break from focussed writing, while taking in the work of others, opened my mind to possibilities I hadn't been able to see before. Sometimes we have to step back, give the material and ourselves some breathing space. And that is exactly what happened thanks to my retreat at Centrum.

As a matter of fact, I've got to sign off now, for enough time has been spent online. I'm going back to my den and get down with my bad business.

With grateful thanks to Centrum for providing room (and board and everything else) and all of the folks who shared a bit of themselves.

1 comment:

Judith van Praag said...

Byron Au Yong called to invite me to the costume rehearsal of his new work "Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas" tonight, but he also mentioned that it had been impossible to leave comments on my PTWC blog. I've made some changes, so hopefully other folks beside me will leave a few words…