My vacation starts on Sunday, and I’m over the moon about what I’ve decided to do with my time off.
Recently (as in the past 4 years or so), writing has become a true passion of mine. I’ve been journaling since high school, but didn’t really get interested in writing for reflection, substance and a creative outlet until seminary. In recent weeks, I’ve experienced a surge of creativity that I feel is important to nurture so I can get into a good practice of writing regularly.
Since I have a week off, I have planned a 3-day personal writing retreat for myself. I will use this time, like Annie Dillard uses her writing life, to unplug and to listen. That’s right – no tech, just writing.
So as not to get bored or stale, I have some places in mind to which I will migrate when I need a change of pace or scenery.
From Monday through Wednesday of next week, I will be spending my days writing, and I can’t wait to see what comes of this structured time.
Here’s the schedule I have in mind:
Monday and Tuesday:
8 AM – 9AM: Breakfast on the porch
9AM – 9:15 AM: Morning Pages (taken from Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way. 15 minutes of uninterrupted, unedited free journaling to clear your mind and open up creativity)
9:15 AM – 11:15 AM: Developing ideas from morning pages; writing project brainstorm
11:15 AM -11:30 AM: Hot tea break (sipping with pinkie up, of course)
11:30 AM – 11:45 AM: Morning Pages
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM: Lunch
12:15 PM – 2:15PM: Rest/Relax/Nap/Read
2:15PM – 2:45 PM: Morning Pages
2:45PM – 4:15PM: Mine morning pages for ideas, reflect, develop ideas
4:15PM – 8PM: Free time for dinner and relaxing
8PM – 10PM: Write
8AM – 9AM: Breakfast on the porch
9AM – 9:15 AM: Morning Pages
9:15 AM – 12:15 PM: Reflect on morning pages, ideas from previous 2 days, develop ideas into blog posts, essays or articles
12:15 PM – 1PM: Lunch
1PM – 3PM: Rest and relax
3PM – 6PM: Write
6PM – 7PM: Dinner
7PM – 10PM: Write
8 AM – 9 AM: Breakfast on the porch
9AM – 11:30 AM: Reflections on retreat and writings, finalize working blog queue, organize essays and articles into categories and plan submissions (where and deadlines)
The structure of these three days may sound counterintuitive to what a vacation is supposed to be, but to me, writing is one of the most life-giving things I do. When I’m nurturing my craft, I’m at my very best spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically because exercise helps me get clear and focused.
I’m so looking forward to doing this. Have you done something like this before? Tell me about it in the comments. What worked and didn’t work? Is this an interest of yours if I asked friends to retreat with me in the future?
I hope that you each find simple ways to nurture your souls, or creativity or whatever it is that gives you life today, this week, this month and this year.