Retreat

It was raining in Chicago when I left on Wednesday. Here, it is warm and dry and there are mountains against blue sky. I am trying hard not to get distracted too easily, and this place accommodates this effort by not providing too many distractions. I can get access to the internet but not a strong enough signal to stream video, which helps keep me from diving into a hole of new television shows to escape what I’ve actually came here to do, which is write.

Boredom is useful for creativity. Growing up, I drew a lot. Painted even, albeit very badly. I wrote, sometimes. I made things because I wasn’t particularly popular and the internet wasn’t really a big thing, and while I read a lot of books, I didn’t want to read all of the time. Then for a long time, I didn’t make anything. I’ve started again, been pretty consistent about it for the last two years but it has been squeezed into a pre-existing scheduled. Having just all day to fill, for days at a time, isn’t something I’ve had since before college and that’s how it is for most people, I think.

Writing notes: So far, I’ve been productive. I haven’t kept perfect track but I think I’ve done about 6-7 hours of writing a day, which is more than I expected. Partly this has been fueled by a realization of how long it takes me to make any real progress, and how I just have to throw time at my project in order to get where I want, or at least close. I miss being able to measure productivity in word count because that feels so tangible but I’m editing and the math is different there. I actually get nervous when the word count creeps up too much because I worry that I’m bloating sections, spinning them out longer than necessary.

Reading notes: Reading Broken Monsters. I wasn’t sure if I should bring it because it is a hardcover book and heavy and took up precious bag space. It has been totally worth it—a dense book in all the right ways, not some oversized book that proves to be an annoyingly quick, fluffy read. I read in chunks, as a reward for putting in good amounts of writing time.

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