By Eleanor Shelton
The sun is shining brightly over the mountains, there are hiking trails, time galore to do what you want, wine, good food, naps, reading. It sounds like the perfect vacation, right? Except, it’s a writing retreat. So, where’s the writing? Where’s the inspiration when you have the ideal time for it? What happens at a long-awaited writing retreat and inspiration to write falls below eating, drinking, and napping?
Plus, we’re socially distancing. So, it’s not like we can have a collective kumbayah or anything. This is the first full day of a three-day retreat. I’m already paralyzed with worry that after counting down the days for an entire year, I’ll waste this rare opportunity. That fear feeds on itself in the form of procrastination and evasiveness.
I have a whole table to spread out, two pads of paper, snacks, my laptop, wine (with ice, so I don’t feel that I’m consuming too much alcohol), and my cellphone set to silence.
Wait…did I just miss a call from my mother? She’s old. Maybe something’s wrong. Should I call her back?
It’s been almost a full workday. Perhaps there’s an emergency email in my inbox?
Our president is sick. Just checking the news headlines once more won’t kill anyone. It’d be good to know if he’s incapacitated and the vice president has to take over. And that would affect me, how?
I say I want to write, but whine I never get the quality time to do it right.
Well, here I am. Suck it up, buttercup, and put a string of words together, and before you know it, it’s a sentence. We know what happens to those sentences. They lead to paragraphs, which magically morph into pages, scenes, characters, and plot.
I can do it! I have that ability, that superpower that can transform time into words, words into action and emotions, and all those elements into a story!! Yes, I will be uber-productive in the day and a half I have left. Nothing can stop me!!!!!
Wow, those mountains sure are pretty, and hold the phone…is that laughter I hear from my fellow writers sitting around the campfire? Maybe I should check it out.