Pictures on paper and in my mind (Writing journal, January 6, 2015)

Yesterday was the first sunny day on the trip so I spent it hiking. I think doing that early on helps me feel better oriented about my surroundings and it’s good if I can “get it out of my system”—wanting to explore, that is.

So, I made today all about writing. I have a tough time getting going. Writing and the things I’m writing about were on my mind, but I struggled to just sit down and work on it. But I was realizing how much I do like these writing getaways—putting myself in a whole new setting and minimizing… Continue reading

Decisions (Writing journal, January 4, 2015)

I’m at the next location on my writing retreat and into a new year. I continue to struggle with the writing. There are less distractions here, which definitely helps, but I still find them. The most common distraction is reading, so it’s not all bad. And my mind has seemed in a more creative mode. Ideas have been coming to me and I’ve even been having interesting creative dreams like old times. I think I struggle most with decisions. When I write, I often have to choose between competing ideas, and I’ve always had a tough time with decisions. I… Continue reading

The final retreat? (Writing journal, December 31, 2014)

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m on another writing retreat—perhaps the most important one, because if it isn’t productive, I’m giving up writing for a while. I’m currently at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. It’s a nice setting but cold, but that’s OK—I’m here to write. I plan to be out for several more weeks and will stay put in each location for about a week to focus rather than spend time moving around and sightseeing. I brought some books and the Kindle with me, so I’ll be doing plenty of reading, too.

My main objective for this trip… Continue reading

One last try (Writing journal, May 14, 2014)

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here, and to be honest, since I’ve written anywhere. I’ve had a real struggle with motivation. I always seem to have a way of finding distractions that keep me from writing. And so, I’m left wondering how important is this really to me? Am I really a writer in my heart?

The last few weeks I’ve been feeling particularly hopeless and I’ve come to the point of realizing I must either prove I can do this or move on. Financial worries are starting to create too much stress for me. So I’ve… Continue reading

Story Cubes (Writing journal, January 27, 2014)

I’m trying to get writing to be a part of my regular daily routine. And to start, I’m going to concentrate more on establishing the habit rather than what I’m writing. So, when I don’t feel like writing one of my ongoing projects, I’m going to use writing prompts. At least I’ll get used to writing regularly and practice some creativity in the process. I have an iPad app I downloaded that is well-suited to this process; it starts you out with the first part of a sentence. But I’ve been intrigued by another app, Rory’s Story Cubes, based… Continue reading

Hiking vs. writing (Writing journal, July 27, 2013)

Some progress, today, finally. As I near the end of my writing retreat trip, I reflect that I’ve really enjoyed it. I could get used to the RV life, and am thinking of ways to make these extended outings more affordable, like becoming a campground host to get a free campsite in return for some light work.

But I’ve been doing a lot more hiking and sightseeing than writing. That fact has been weighing on me. I’ve been enjoying the hiking and getting some great photos and even writing the blog posts about the places I’ve been. But I’ve really… Continue reading

Writing from the family tree (Writing journal, July 20, 2013)

I woke up feeling anxious, but as I sit with my coffee and prepare breakfast, I sense I’m easing into the new normal with camping neighbors and no cell phone/internet/TV. It leaves me in a position where my only real distractions are books and my thoughts. And as distractions go, books are the kind that are good for writers.

A few nights ago I met up with my parents and they gave me the book Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul, which is good for picking up and reading a little here and there. I did that this morning,… Continue reading

Invasion of the weekenders (Writing journal, July 19, 2013)

I spent the morning and first part of the afternoon hiking. It was a good hike, and I was hoping it would release some of my nervous energy so I could get on with the writing. But when I got back, weekenders started moving in, and although this is a rustic, quaint campground, it doesn’t feel like my writing retreat anymore. Too many distractions. And then I lost cell phone reception and haven’t gotten it back—that should increase productivity, but it’s left me feeling edgy.

Yesterday I started reading Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. So… Continue reading

Writing room with a view (Writing journal, July 18, 2013)

I’m on a bit of a writing retreat. Let’s see if I can use the distraction-free time to reach my Camp NaNoWriMo goal. I’m in the RV at Fowlers Hollow State Park, and it seems like a great setting for a writing retreat—a small, secluded wooded campground. My site backs up to a stream. I arrived yesterday but couldn’t get motivated or focused on writing. I had planned to get up early this morning and do some hiking but I woke up not feeling so great and decided to dedicate today to writing and save the hiking for tomorrow… Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo (Writing journal, July 10, 2013)

The house is now sold and I’m finally starting to feel a little more settled into a new reality. Not much (any?) writing has happened. On July 1, I realized Camp NaNoWriMo was starting the month of July. I didn’t know much about it and, like I did with the regular NaNoWriMo the first time, I didn’t really discover it until it had already started. Camp NaNoWriMo is a bit more flexible than the November event—you can decide what your own word goal is rather than having to do 50,000 words. That’s good, because I’ve been thinking about a short… Continue reading