...and I am a lot more human than I thought.
I've been meaning to talk about my experiences at the Taos Writers' Spa 2008 for the last two weeks, but it has taken me a while to process them. I know I should have written about it as it was happening, but I was pretty overwhelmed by the richness of it all, and at the same time, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just feeling that sort of runner's high that so often accompanies the end of a seminar or workshop intensive, and that tends to evaporate within a week. So far, so good.
Aside from committing the sin of not being a regular and faithful contributor to my blog, I was also made to see the error of my ways in having too often been complacent about my writing, and the dailiness that is necessary to practice my craft.
But at the Taos event, I learned the importance of setting the bar low enough to actually achieve what I set out to do, and to do it often enough so that it becomes a successful habit (I have enough bad habits—might as well develop some good ones).
I had become so driven to effectively market my book, Accidental Cowgirl, that I forgot I still needed to keep writing. But when was I going to have time?
Our group leaders, Suzanne Falter-Barnes and Jennifer Louden, expert coaches and published authors themselves, successfully shepherded thirty women through a weeklong retreat, during which we made friends with our inner critic and played with our prose and still had time for yoga. I came away totally satisfied and re-committed to a regular writing practice, no matter what.
Heck, all I was after was the chance to wallow in the wake of the many creative people who had gone before me, in a historic adobe (the Mabel Dodge Luhan House), in a gorgeous place. Yet the experience was so much more than that, and I have at least thirty new friends who will attest to it.
Writing retreats really work. Have you rewarded yourself lately?
About Mary Lynn
Causes Mary Lynn Archibald Supports
Battered Women's Shelter, SPCA, Healdsburg Animal Shelter, Nature Conservancy