I hoped to find myself and my writing voice by going to the retreat. Though writing is a solitary activity, where the writer crawls into their own skull to mine their thoughts and imagination to produce words, we are still social animals. Being around other writers can be rejuvenating. Did the retreat accomplish everything I hoped?
It reminded me that I have skills as a writer. The retreat generated fuel for my passion, but on its own, didn’t reignite the fire. However, it reminded me that after years of taking this seriously, I acquired tools and abilities to not only make my stories better, but to push through writing blocks. While I didn’t generate a lot of words, I managed to push my most recent short story forward a little bit, and I know how to get to the end.
I don’t remember if I talked much about my current story. A writer acquires a magic typewriter and begins writing the best story he’s ever written. When he’s not working on the story, he becomes more and more depressed. But he discovers that as soon as he finishes the story, he will die.
When I started the story, the writer sat in a coffee shop, staring at a blinking cursor. I intentionally started it from an autobiographical perspective, grounding the opening in my own lived in experience. I didn’t realize how of myself I was putting into the story, though. He pines over this story he’s written, the way someone might long for their soulmate. I didn’t know that part was autobiographical until later, when I found myself procrastinating writing this story by reading parts of Synthetic Dreams.
I still haven’t finished the first set of revisions for Synthetic Dreams, and it distracts me from all of my other writing. It’s my favorite story that I’ve ever written. I may have to finish the revisions for that story this month, so that my mind will be clear for the new novel next month.
The retreat helped me get in a better headspace for writing. It meant a lot being around other writers again, and socializing, and being a part of something bigger. There were moments during the retreat where I felt like I was paying back to the community, at least a little. I learned so much over the last decade or so, and every once in a while on the ship, I had opportunities to share.
I’m not sure I’m completely right in my heart and my mind, but I’m writing again. I committed to writing something here every day, and this post will make 5 for 5. If I make it ten days in a row, I’m confident I can make all 31. And if I can do that, maybe I’ll be able to write every day in November and get the next novel out of my heart and onto the page.
It feels good to write again.