Quiet and Alone

IMG_5456On an average day I speak to and listen to over a hundred individuals. I’m a teacher who has 90 students. During the workday, I’m never alone. There is always noise–I need my classes to be that way since I teach Spanish. Communication is the goal! It is true when I am home the noise is not as varied, only my husband, kittens, and the TV.

IMG_5450Also, another tidbit about myself. I’ve never lived alone. I went straight from my parents’ house, to a dorm with a roommate, to my parents’, and then with my husband. That is many years of never truly being alone for any length of time.

Part of the reason I wanted to go on my three-day writer’s retreat by myself was to see once again if I could be alone and quiet. I’ve done it twice before on research trips. And somehow, I managed. Yet, I find I prefer to have people to talk with and listen to daily.

As an author, the act of writing is a solitary job. These three days without cooking, washing, and teaching gave me the time I needed to organize my papers, my ideas, and actually put some words on paper. I appreciated the quiet, the nature trails, the lake, the rain, the deer, and long hours to do some things that I love–writing and reading.

IMG_5459I’m home now where I should be, happy and rested with a plan for my writing, ever thankful for the hours to focus, regenerate my excitement, and set a few goals.

I asked a friend last night if she could go away for three days alone. She said she couldn’t. Could you? Where would you go and what would you do?

My Writer’s Retreat

IMG_5336Just me. Alone. With my research box, my computer, books, pens, and a great view. I am on fall break from teaching. I asked my husband for a getaway, and he couldn’t leave work. So, here I am in a comfy room with a view of a huge lake and nothing to do except what I want. Three nights and three days.

IMG_5337I’ve needed time like this to organize my thoughts and make some progress on my current writing project–Draw Me to Your Side, Revolutionary Faith Book Four. I’m so excited with high hopes and lofty ideas of progress.

Of course, I will use the scenery and perfect weather to motivate me. I will take at least two walks a day finding spots to write and think.  I’ll nap or rest with a good book when I feel the need. Oh, how I look forward to the freshwater fish and local dishes.

What will my writer’s retreat involve? Here are some of my (flexible) plans.

  1. Organize my research box. This will take a few hours as I look through odd pieces of paper that at one time I thought important enough to jot down notes or save from odd resources.IMG_5341
  2. Reread the chapters I have written, comparing them to my outline, focusing on my characters’ personalities and physical appearances.
  3. Input my handwritten manuscript to my computer–I have about four chapters that haven’t been added to the 15,000 words already there. IMG_5343
  4. Write. Write. WRITE. I want to advance 4-5 chapters.
  5. Make a schedule for writing once I return home. My novel will be 90,000-100,000 words, so I need to write the end in the next two months.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Well, happy week to you. I’m doing exactly what I want to for a few days.                                                                                                                                                                            If you could, what type of retreat would you take all by yourself?