Fear not, there are no invading hordes. I say ‘retreat’ in the context of a getaway from daily routine. By the time you read this, I will be on a plane to Hong Kong (ah, the wonders of scheduled posts). It’s time for a visa exit, just a quick pop out of China and then back in. Yes, although Hong Kong is now part of China, it’s still technically considered exiting the country when you visit. Go figure.
Anyway, I’m hoping to spend some of my time writing and brainstorming ideas. I’ll let you know later on in the week how that turned out. Till then I will leave you with some thoughts about discovering you own creative retreat.
When we are at home we’re usually thinking of all the things we need to do. Cooking, laundry, ironing, sewing, plumbing, cleaning etc. While most of us still manage to carve out time to work on our creative projects, these wonderful pockets of time are still competing with everyday life. And so, sometimes, we just need a break – an opportunity to have some special time with our Creativity.
The February 2010 Writer’s Digest contained an article by Kathryn Haueisen Chasken entitled ‘DIY Writing Retreats.’ In it she described a retreat as:
any opportunity to treat yourself to a quiet place where you can work uninterrupted for a short period of time.
Uninterrupted time with your Creativity is a golden opportunity to produce new ideas and concepts or work on things you’ve being dying to get to. It’s an important part of keeping your Creativity happy and healthy. The good news is, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of time, money and petrol.
How to Retreat
Notice the quote above mentioned “any opportunity.” Chasken highlighted that retreats do not need to be week long trips to far away places. They can simply be a couple of hours spent in a coffee shop, writing. She also specifically mentioned writing in a library, in a book store reading corner, in a hotel lobby or at the homes of friends or relatives who are away. You could also try a local park or beach. Each of these usually requires very little travelling and hardly any monetary outlay (at most a cup of coffee).
The important thing, as Chasken points out, is to:
determine exactly when (day and time) and for how long (whether 30 minutes or a whole afternoon) you plan to step away from work, family or other obligations – then stick to it.
It’s also important to decide what you wish to accomplish during your retreat. Do you want to hammer out a set number of words in your latest novel? Do you want to uncover the fix for a niggling plot hole? Do you want to experiment with a new form of writing? Or are you an artist hoping to find a new location for your next landscape? Maybe you’re a musician toying with the idea of learning a new instrument or piece.
What do you need to accomplish? Where can you go to do that?
I am hoping to take advantage of my necessary trip to get more storyboarding done on my novel and outline some new blog posts. Pop back in a couple of days to find out how I went.
Till then, please let us know if you’ve discovered a retreat that works for you?