My At-Home Writing Retreat

Parental readers will understand the import of the fact that for the next three weeks, I am on school vacation but my son L. is not. In other words, for the next three weeks L. will still be at school his usual 21.5 hours per week (who’s counting?) but I don’t have to work between 15 and 20 of those hours, as usual. I’ve been looking forward to this break for a month. I have no plans to actually vacation: I’m going to knock out a writing to-do list a mile long.

There’s a lot of pressure when you’re a writer faced with very few obligations besides writing for three whole weeks! Each day counts, and of course, each day a nagging voice says to you, “why don’t you just knock off today and go to the beach instead?” Monday night, as I was falling asleep, I was thinking nervously about the long Tuesday ahead with a manuscript to read/edit and blog posts to write and all sorts of things to accomplish. Then I had my brilliant idea: why not make the day a kind of holistic writing retreat?

TeapotWritingSo, after I kicked out L. and B. around 8:45, I began the retreat. I started with as many sun salutations as it took to get me feeling very warm and invigorated. Then I meditated for ten minutes. Then I made a pot of tea and spent the morning reading aloud and making line notes on my now-really-almost-finished memoir. Around 11:30, I took a break and walked slowly and thoughtfully to the coffee shop. When I returned, I picked a salad from the garden and made a nice lunch (you know how they always advertise “beautiful organic food” on retreats? Well, I planned to deliver). Then it was straight back to the manuscript for more line notes. Around two, I shifted gears and started using the computer.

There’s something about being alone in a house, without distractions, that just makes you feel alive. I think I’ll declare the next two Tuesdays writing retreat days. Why not?