I suffer writer’s block just like everyone else. I’ve learned to nurture my creativity in various ways, so the insidious blank page with mocking cursor is not a common occurrence. Words are meant to flow onto the page, not torment the writer with elusiveness.
I attend a writing retreat twice a year. It’s held every March and November at a campground in the Missouri woods. It’s quiet, secluded, and worth every penny I spend to participate. This group is exclusive, and the fellowship with other writers is invaluable. A writer must have a personal reference from someone who has attended to be admitted. The group, therefore, is small and intimate. These are the best conditions for me as a writer, and I produce my most thoughtful work while in attendance.
I have a beautiful study at home where I write nearly every day. The room is a soothing purple and filled with bookshelves, art, and my favorite things. My grandiose desk is solid oak with lots of drawers and plenty of room for my computer, printer, and pictures of my family. My study is my happy place, but I can’t shut the world out for long. I usually manage to find a few minutes to myself where I can close the door and concentrate. Life comes knocking in one form or another all too soon, and my muse flies away.
The writing retreat is my answer to finding time for myself and my passion for words. I have a room where I sleep on a cot or bunk bed depending on my room assignment, and the rest of my time is spent in the lodge writing. I have a six-foot table next to an electrical outlet all to myself. The writing area is considered a quiet zone, so there are no distractions from my task. Meals are provided, and inspiration is all around me.
Missouri fall colors greet me as I gaze out the large picture windows lining three of the lodge walls. I enjoy the explosions of red, orange, and yellow that soothe my convoluted consciousness enough to allow me to relax and tap into my creativity. Working in absolute silence is a precious gift that cannot be understated.
When I’ve had my fill sitting still, I enjoy walking around the grounds and breathing the clean autumn air. There is no better cure for writer’s block than coming back to nature and realizing that I’m just a very small part of a much grander scheme.
A quick hike through the hills usually puts my mind back on track. I return to my computer refreshed and ready to write. Last night was no exception. As I was walking between the lodge and founders’ hall at dusk, I saw a small herd of deer a few yards from me. We regarded each other for a few minutes before they decided that I posed no danger and returned to their foraging. The encounter invigorated my imagination.