For those of us who clock in at our keyboards and notebooks rather than stepping through the office doors every morning, ‘holidays’ are often a mixed blessing. We love the time spent with family, the food, the festivities, the break from daily routine. But in the back of our hearts we feel the tug of the loved ones we’re neglecting: our manuscripts.
Writers love what they do, and enforced time away from writing when the work is calling is a special kind of agony only fellow pen-monkeys can appreciate. To make matters worse, during the holiday season we open our houses to friends and family, busying ourselves with cooking turkeys, decorating, and wrapping gifts while our notebooks lie unopened, and our keyboards gather dust. We are in our offices, but unable to sit down and do the work we enjoy most.
As writers, we need a holiday from the holidays. That’s why at Pulp Literature we book the second weekend in January for our annual Muse Retreat. It’s a time for us to put the hectic holidays behind us, forget deadlines and production schedules, and simply write for three days while Dan and Julia at The Lodge at the Old Dorm pamper us with luxury accomodation and gourmet meals.
As always, we open the doors for a few other writers to join us. There are two spaces left and the price is only $899 until January 1st.
Non-writing spouses are invited to attend as well at a cost of $699. Bowen Island is a beautiful and inspirational place for walks in the forest, kayaking, and simply escaping the bustle of city life.
Your Muse deserves the gift of quality time with you. Register here to start 2017 with a well-earned break and come away with at least 3000 fresh new words on the page.
See you on Bowen!
Jen, Mel & Sue
The archetypical swan-pale writer taps out chapters through the night, whiskey at hand, refusing food and slumber. It makes you wonder how much more Fitzgerald might have done if he’d put a little bit of that creative genius into living better. No matter how well we write when we’re feeling crappy, we write even better when we feel well.
But, when we’re looking for more writing time, it’s tempting to take our health for granted. “I’ll go to bed later.” “I’ll get up earlier.” “I’ll lock myself away until it’s done.” “No time to cook.” “Walk? When?” How much better to carve out writing, revising, and publishing time from what doesn’t serve us: repeated email checking, web surfing, online shopping, phone twiddling, and the rest of the close-focus time-eating opportunities offered by the brilliant network of 21st century life.
Of all the assets we bring to the reading world, a writer’s greatest strengths are personality and intellect. Our minds shine through every word we write. Getting exercise, particularly walking (see the the New Yorker article on thinking and walking here) improves our thinking. Eating whole foods, including more vegetables than we ever thought possible, helps our brains operate better. Getting a good night’s sleep lifts our moods, and helps us see what we can create, how far we can go, and how to live the writing life we desire.
I hope it’s another brilliant writing week for you.
From @yourwritingmuse: You take five minutes to brainstorm intriguing settings. Kudos. Your Writing Muse.
If you want to lead a full-time writing career in your full-time life, consider the happy mathematics of writing books.
Writers talk about books taking six months or a year. Or indeed years. And of course any profession will fill the entire time you give it, including every hour of the day, if you allow it to schedule you instead of the other way around.
If you step back and look at the time it takes you to write, rather than the time it takes a book to get itself written, you find that you can probably write about a thousand to fifteen hundred words an hour or two, so long as you know what you’re going to write.
You’re going to be outlining, revising, polishing and planning your marketing strategies during the week, but unlike drafting, these can easily be done in smaller time frames.
Posit that those fifteen hundred words are based on a good outline, then they will become part of your book. If you write twice a week for an hour or two, then, you have three thousand words. (Mind you, if you are happy to take five hours to compose a perfect paragraph, then carry on and don’t mind me.) If you have three thousand words a week, and you use the best part of those words, then you have two short novels or one long novel a year.
There’s more to a writing career than writing your story, of course, but that is a necessary basic: having fantastic books to build your career upon.
Have another brilliant writing day. Want more time management and writing tips? See our archives and melanastasiou.wordpress.com