Do-It-Yourself Retreat Kit

Five Fairly Easy Steps to Get Yourself Writing

1. Scalpel

Carve out time.  Not easy?  Schedule ahead – as far as you need to go.  Two weeks from Tuesday, 5 to 7 pm?  Great.  Put it on the calendar.  Commitments to your self hold the same weight as commitments to work, family and friends.

2.  Build in fun.

Where can you get something delicious? There’s that deli in town with plenty of places to sit and write.  There’s the tea house that opened six years ago….What about the hillside (or rooftop) you never get to?  The one with the open view of clouds, sunset, and stars.

Places that veer away from the everyday are like jungle gyms for the imagination.

Find places that are fun – because writing is too.

3. Diversify

No Wi-fi?  Bring paper and pen: the hand, the brain, and the writing all shift a little.  It’s very interesting.

Outdoors? No tables?  Bring a folding chair…and bug spray.

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4. OK, GO!

So you’re in this beautiful and different place.  Now what?  Sometimes the writing flows, right from the start.  Other times, it doesn’t.  For those times, here are a few ways to get the pen moving or the fingers typing:

–  Make a list.  A short list, like…15 things to do with a piece of string.  Or 15 things you’ve done already today. Or 15 reasons not to write.

– Start with: “I used to be… but now….”  Fill in the blanks, and go on from there.

–  Give voice to whatever words arrive.  “I can’t write,” is a frequent visitor in my work.  From there, it tends to expand on my other shortcomings. Eventually, more interesting topics arrive.

Here’s the key: If you keep the pen moving, something new and unexpected will emerge. Guaranteed.

5. Fare forward.

Give yourself a title.  Intrepid Writer.  Ruler of the Eastern Seas.  Wondering on a Hillside.  With a title, of course, come perks and duties:

The perks are that you now have to sit somewhere nice and play with words… ie: insights, images, dreams, fears, certainties, wanderings, outrageous plots, recipes, quiet notes to the heart.

Your duty, of course, is to continue.  Schedule a next time.  Re-read your work when you get back home.  And share it with someone who understands you as a writer.

If you’d like to learn more about developing your writing practice, let’s talk!  You can email me at: mainstreetwriters@gmail.com.

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