While it is important to cultivate being creative and make it a habit to be creative without care for your surrounds, it behooves me see what I could do to maximize the success of the writing retreat. I’ll stop with the horsing around now and get to the point.
For several years now I’ve recommended the following videos in this order to help writer’s. As a writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy I am drawn to the new and the old or ancient. It’s good to remind myself there are excellent resources for writers in the near past. I would include Stephen King’s Book, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft , In this list of resources.
Shawn Anchor’s presentation at a TEDxBloomington in May of 2011 is my goto when I get off track. It involves outliers, unicorns, breaking his sister’s arm and most of all happiness. If you’ve watched it before, watch it again.
The second video is from Elizabeth Gilbert. This presentation is not about “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s about creativity and the dreaded “M” word – MUSE.
This presentation is from Ted2009, February.
Sadly there is another side to this preparation, dealing with the stress of day to day life or problems that have to be dealt with.
- Do the doable before you go. The issues will be there when you get back.
- Don’t pack problems for others at the retreat to solve for you. If it’s a writing problem, sure, but you know what I mean.
- In my experience, many creative people have trouble being selfish. You owe it to yourself, be selfish, enjoy the retreat, relish the time you have to write.
- Balance. You can’t write every single second of your retreat. So don’t judge yourself when you have a second cup of coffee or a second glass of wine.
- Strive to find flow. Most authors and artists talk about getting into a flow where the writing just comes out. Work on finding Flow. Basketball players, indeed professional athletes talk about finding flow. If you don’t believe in “flow” that’s fine, you’ll thank me when you find it.
- Write down what distracts you, make a list that you will deal with later.
I would say that all of you have read the blog and not watched the videos. Now is the time to go back a watch the videos.
Remember the goal is to prepare for the retreat, not start the retreat early. Don’t confuse preparation with doing an activity. Proper preparation helps maximize what you get out of something, whether it’s a holiday or a retreat.
“It’s best to have your tools with you. If you don’t, you’re apt to find something you didn’t expect and get discouraged.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft