Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another weekend, another world...

The bone-jarring cold of the weekend past is naught but a memory, replaced by the warm, fuzzy thoughts of the benefits received; much as the pain of childbirth is forgotten once the child is in your arms for the first time. And in the same way, I am more than willing to repeat that weekend, cold and all.

The gain from a weekend writing retreat is usually worth whatever effort or discomfort is involved. Sometimes I think we learn more in that uncomfortable place…new surroundings, new people, new ideas…than we do wallowing in our familiar zones of complacency. I’ve always been a proponent of the idea that personal change is good. It promotes growth and stimulates creativity. The more changes you make in your personal world, the better. Change at work can be good too, as long as it is done to make things more efficient, more profitable, and more effective and is not being done just for the sake of change or by personal whim.

Getting out of the comfort zone is a real necessity for writers. Move to the front porch with the laptop, go to a coffee shop (it’s not as distracting as you might imagine), go sit on the beach. The sound and the sight of water always bring out a creative mood in me, but only if I’m well rested. If I’m sleep deprived, the water sights and sounds send me off to la-la-land. Just make sure that it’s someplace where you’re not looking at the house that needs cleaning, the laundry that needs doing, and the bills that need paying. It’s also best to move as far away as possible from anyone for whom you feel responsible, be it spouse, child, sibling or parent. Just their presence can be a flow-stopping distraction.

With the weekend weather as nice as it is today…take a walk and just enjoy. When you get back, set up your laptop on the porch or sit in a lawn chair and soak up the sun’s warmth as you let your mind take you where the writing wants to go!