Writing Retreat, Day 2

14 March 2020

I woke up to sunlight streaming through my window and drinking coffee out of can. It’s not my preferred way to enjoy a cuppa, as the cute indy cafe down the street called my name before all the virus stuff hit, but it was certainly better than what the hotel provided.

I headed out to the beach for a run. There were a decent amount of people out there, but I managed to avoid them all. I promised myself 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back. It was a perfect morning on the strand with bright sun and cool temps. I savored ever moment, as I knew this could be the last time I’d get to do this for awhile. My husband was almost certain we’d be under quarantine orders soon. I returned nearly an hour later, showered, and got myself settled with a glass of wine at the wobbly desk with that sliver view of the ocean, ready to write the first chapter.

A friend popped up in my inbox with an urgent edit for a newsletter for a non-profit, so I did that. I wasn’t as quick as I thought I would be, but as it turned out, it was the perfect exercise to get into writing mode.

The good Lord knows what you need.

Like starting all things, it took a moment to get going, as I had to research my opening line. I didn’t get started on the book until 1pm, much later than I anticipated – two chapters wasn’t going to happen, so I only focused on one. The story I had to tell was very linear, and I had the details – although they jumped around, as my interviewee’s ADD kicked in. My pre-writing was the notes from the interview, I probably should have organized the thoughts in a true pre-writing fashion, but by taking them organically, it all came together.

A few hours later, I was in need of more wine and food after I got about half way through. Word count was rising and I felt good about the content. I took a break to watch the world burn on cable news and checked in on my husband back home. I picked up the story where I left off and the words kept coming. It flowed like a brook over stones. I finally stopped a little after midnight, the story wrapped up in a bow, the chapter complete.

In 11 hours, I had pushed out 3,700 words.

As I snuggled into sleep, another idea popped up, so I quickly scribbled that down. I had to force myself to go to sleep and stop thinking about the chapter. I turned off the laptop so I wouldn’t be tempted to copy edit.

Outside of downloading the writing program Scrivener, locking myself in a hotel room to write was one of the best things I’ve ever done as a writer.

I can’t wait to do it again.

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