Sunday, August 1, 2010

Writing Retreats--What Happens When You Are Alone with Your Creativity

I was alone with my writing this week.  So were fourteen other writers (see us in the photo at left).  We retreated to a beautiful restored farm on an island in the middle of Lake Superior, to dive deeply into our books.  Each of us was hoping to surface with new understandings.  Maybe new maps.     

Writers who take on a book learn that it is always connected to their lives, some way, somehow.  Even if the story is about another planet.  Even if the writer is making it all up.  We can't write completely outside of who we are, especially when we're spending 300 pages doing so.  This means we must face ourselves squarely, look at our motivation for our project, as well as any oh-so-personal obstacles to getting there.

It requires being alone with our creativity.  Writing retreats are great places for this to happen.

Necessary Boredom
Part of the luxury of a writing retreat is being able to slow down.  Madeline Island is