Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Home Based Writing Retreat

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Vacations are supposed to be lazy, right? Laying around the pool, sipping a cold drink, and paging through a fat book. Well, I haven't been doing it right this week.
I'm having a working vacation. And for me, it has been grand.

Normally, I'm a homeschool mom. Which means there is someone in my house ALL the time. Since I love to write in privacy and silence....well, you get the idea.

But for the past week, no one has been home but me, the cat, and the dog.

Ds is overseas on a mission trip. Dh was away on business for several days.

The last few days were all about me and my creative work. (What a concept!) I wrote like a fiend. I considered and sorted through several projects, both writing and non-writing related. Having the uninterrupted time to think has been such a blessing.

Artists enjoy the chance to get away from the rut of their daily life. Carving out extended time to write, quilt, scrapbook, or paint allows greater expression. You simply have the time to think more thoughts more deeply. But you don't have to leave home to do it.

Some tips for a home-based retreat.

1. Send the kiddoes to a friend's or grandma's for the weekend. Trade off with another artistic-minded parent. You keep all the children one weekend, then she keeps everyone another time.

2. Plan yummy food. Eating is a sensory experience for me. I stopped at a gourmet grocery store and picked up a few entrees and sides for my retreat. Not having to worry about cooking or eating out enhanced my pleasure. Not living on PB&J was important. If you want, cook in advance and pop things in the freezer.

3. Assemble supplies. Gather your supplies and ideas several days ahead of time. That way when you do have the time, you can dive in. I like have several projects to work on. If I hit a roadblock on one, I can move to another. It keeps me fresh.

4.Work on your projects! Do not use this time to vacuum the carpet, mow the lawn, play on the internet, or clean out the garage. Create! At the end of the day, make notes on what you accomplished. It adds up, doesn't it?

5. Turn off the phone, TV, and internet. Pretend you have traveled several hours to get to this place. Be unavailable to your normal life, except for an emergency.

6. If you have several days, plan a creative date with yourself. If you had traveled to another city for a retreat you would make time to visit a great restaurant, art museum, or local shops or sites. Shopping and touring can be a right brained creative activity. We forget to play tourist in our own backyards sometimes. Fill up your senses with local color and experiences.

My private week is done. Dear Hubby is back and we will shift gears to have a few days of mini-honeymoon while the teen is away. I feel refreshed. Invigorated by what I've accomplished. Five new scenes for the book, several thousand words written, writing classes designed for fall, a new business idea explored, women's ministry thoughts outlined. I've indulged in some photography time,and spent time on my porch swing enjoying my gardens and warm summer nights.

It has been a wonderful experience.

1 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Lisa said...

I thought I'd visit since you had posted on my blog. I feel right at home here! I just love your creativity-centered posts and this one in particular really spoke to me. I have had a few opportunities to experience similar art retreats at home. One simply can not create amongst chaos!