I’ve got a stretch of days with extra solitude. Chris is in New York geeking out over baseball and making memories with his siblings. Of course, I’ve turned it into a stay home writing retreat. After all, I am trying to meet a deadline, it’s summer, and this summer in particular creativity is my theme, my experiment, and the garden I’m growing this year.
I woke up this morning and poured about an hour of my time down the digital drain. But then I kicked myself in the ass and set a timer. Setting a timer to focus on just one thing for a set amount of time works for me. It’s a damn miracle, to be honest. It seems to kick invoke the little kid in me who showed up with everything she had when the teacher set the timer for a page of math equations or paragraphs to read. Oh, hell yes. Do you doubt me? Set that timer and watch me go.
Once I set the timer then I was in it. I stayed in it until it was time for yoga class, though it did get hard a few times when my mind landed on that old track that never has anything nice to say and wastes all her juice worrying about what other people will think.
Our yoga teacher invited us to “create space for ourselves” and described what setting a boundary looks like: “If I experience X, I will do Y”. Always need that reminder. For reals. You have to practice that shit all the time, and if you don’t use it, you lose it. Getting good at setting boundaries is not only good for you. It’s good for the people you take care of in your life too. That’s one thing I try to remember when I need to set a difficult boundary. Boundaries are an act of love and service to others. They give others permission to do the same. They make space for other people to do the work, solve problems, and take action.
I was so grateful for this nugget offered mid-retreat today. When doubts about the worthiness of my story come up, I will keep writing. If I worry about the structure, I will keep writing. If I fall into contemplation of the publishing industry as it is, I will keep writing. For today, I will keep writing like I’ve got something to prove that is even more important than proving that I’ve mastered math facts.
More retreat time tomorrow and the next day, with the goal of finishing a new draft of a novel I’ve been working on off and on for almost a decade. This summer is about tying up loose ends so that I can start a fresh book in the fall. Whatever it is you are working on, I am here for you. Let’s make time.
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Some past posts to keep you making time: