“Things start out as hopes and end up as habits”
This year I had hoped to write more. I usually manage to eek out a regular blog post, but that’s often the extent of it. My blog, which I’ve been writing since 2006, has morphed through many iterations. There are often times when posts and ideas come more frequently than others.
Over the last year or two I’ve settled into a weekly pattern and incorporate the blog into my email newsletter. Hey, I’m all for recycling. I’ve also enjoying being a contributor to publications such as MindBodyGreen, Natural Awakenings, Expert Beacon and a smattering of others.
Yet, I just don’t seem to make (notice my choice of the word make, instead of have) the time to devote to writing as I’d like.
So when my friend Barbara invited me to a series of mini writing retreats she was hosting at her home, I recognized that this was the universe providing me with the opportunity.
What could be better than uninterrupted writing time with friends at Barbara’s beautiful home?!
I’ve been writing, speaking and attempting to live by the notion of a life of design. This was my chance to design my week with dedicated writing time, something I find both enjoyable and beneficial fro my business. It was exactly what I’d been meaning to do.
I have always loved Julia Cameron’s Idea of “Artist Dates” which she encourages in her famous book, The Artist’s Way. And though I’ve tried, I’ve never been very successful at adopting the concept.
This was my chance!
Here’s how I made the most of the experience:
Come prepared – I arrived with my bag chock full of notebooks, colored pens, coffee, water, green juice, comfy clothes and folders of ideas. I also had some essential oils on hand for creativity: Clary Sage and Wild Orange.
Set boundaries – Barbara indicated in her invitation that we’d have time for coffee and chat form 8:00 – 9:00 am, and then we’d get to work. Break for lunch, and then have the option to continue writing after lunch or take advantage of the beach. We also agreed upon silence during the working hours.
Find support – I would not have carved out such focused time if left to my own devices. Being with others sharing the same goal helped me to stay on track.
Choose the right environment – I selected the back deck to camp out. The view is serene and inviting and definitely conducive to creating. That’s my spot in the pic above.
It was a rewarding and productive day and I think it also has sparked an interest in maintaining a habit of ‘artist dates’ with myself, whether it’s writing or another creative venture.
In fact, it led me to take up a random new hobby. Perhaps that’s a future blog post. Of course I’ll need to schedule another writing retreat to write about it!