An At-Home Writer’s Retreat

What’s an introvert to do?

I’m not a mole-woman who never emerges from her writing cave, but I do need a hefty portion of alone time every day for my writing, as well as solitary time just to process my thoughts and feeling and settle into my own rhythm–not to mention checking social media for cute puppy memes.

Whereas hubs, whom I love to the moon and back, needs more social contact, both from me and from others. He’s supportive of my writing, but living with a partner means I have to leave my office from time to time—often just when the writing’s flowing. And while errands and other projects give us the chance to reconnect, they often end with me grumbling about the writing time I’ve missed.

Enter the golf trip! Last week, D met two old friends for a week of golfing and male bonding, leaving me alone at home to write, write, write. It was marvelous! I had a few social meetups with friends, but otherwise kept my own company for eight days. Never have I been so productive!

I spent most of the week at my desk, wearing exercise clothes, typing away madly. When my head began to buzz and my body to ache from too much sitting, I’d go for a walk, then pour another cup of coffee and mount a fresh attack.

In that time, I finished reading Lisa Cron’s Story Genius and doing the exercises therein for half-finished mystery novel. What a revelation! If, like mine, your stories are overpopulated with characters and subplots, if your pacing drags, I highly recommend her techniques. It took me about three weeks to work through all these exercises, but the story is now so much more intense, so much tighter.

Sure, if money were not a concern I’d go find a wind-swept coastal cabin to hole up and write for a week, but I wouldn’t have been any more productive, any more at peace. A week alone at home was all I needed to clean out my pipes, rebalance my attitude, and shut down my grumbling. Not to mention how glad I am to see Hubs again.

Vive la staycation!

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