As the weekend of the annual Coeur du Bois retreat approaches, it makes me think about how important those few days of the year are to my writing process. I can’t think of anything that stimulates my creativity more than secluding myself in a cabin with other writers. It’s an entire weekend filled with eating, going for walks, talking shop and working on my manuscript. If you’ve never done it before then I highly recommend it. I accomplished more writing at last year’s retreat than I did the entire rest of the year.
Unfortunately, I can’t write a whole book in one weekend. Just as the retreat creates the perfect writing environment for me, my house has the opposite effect on my productivity. My characters refuse to show their faces in my home. I think my children’s squeals of glee terrify them. Even if I’m home alone, which almost never happens, there are numerous other things that bombard my mind. I’ll sit at the table with my hands poised over the keyboard ready to type. As I tilt my head to the side pondering the next point in my story, my eyes fall upon the small spaghetti sauce handprint on the wall. I immediately become fixated as I find that I can’t possibly write another word unless I clean it off first. It’s important to note that this particular smudge has been there for six months already and has only now passed my tolerance limit. This is just one example but you get the idea.
So, instead I must find other places where I can create my own small cabin-esque environment. Coffee shops, books stores and libraries work for me too. I’ve even sat in my car in a parking lot just to get some writing done.
When and where are you the most productive?