I am sitting in our condo in Victoria, British Columbia, typing away madly on my latest crazy idea for a novel. I am on retreat—the entire month of June away from the responsibilities, inconsistencies and insanities of my regular life, a chance to refocus, to reprioritize and put my writing first again—as it used to be, as it should be.
This is a retreat of my own design, because no real retreat would accept me. I applied to a few, but nada. Anyway, did I really need to escape to some touchy feely goat preserve/arts and crafts commune so I could rub flannel elbows with dreamy-eyed literati? That just ain’t me.
This is nicer anyway, an inspiring view from sixth floor luxury in one of the most livable cities I’ve ever visited.
When I first started writing seriously, I’d spend upwards of six to eight hours a day jamming out text, as much as 3,000 words in a day. Granted they weren’t necessarily good words, but it was great being able to focus for extended periods.
Lately, though, I’m lucky if I get six to eight hours a week to write. Too many commitments and requirements. I must blog, tweet, and otherwise promote. I’m in two writers groups and helping start a third. The Book Review section at LA Review has expanded and we’ve added an online component, and I must work it every day. I’m coordinating a writing contest for my alumni organization. Oh, and then there’s my paying job and time with my wife…
I don’t mean to complain—I know most of you have similar situations. And I’m incredibly lucky to be able to take this kind of time and have this kind of place to go. I’ll blog over the next few weeks about my progress (if any), and this great city.
Wish me luck.
*Apologies to Harlan Ellison for riffing on his famous story title, “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman.