Every September my critique group meets for a writing retreat. We rent a house in town, plan out who will make dinner what night, do a bit of critiquing in the evenings, watch a movie together, and spend the rest of our time in creative work.
The years I’ve been on deadline, I’ve made quantifiable! Great! Leaps and bounds! with my writing. During the other years, not so much. But here’s the thing: those slower retreats were still creatively important, whether I produced much or not. Have I believed that during the retreat itself? Not always. I’m still learning to trust that every writing experience teaches me something. (In fact, this post came about as a direct result of last year’s retreat).
I have no deadline this time around, but I do have a project underway. It would be easy to head into tomorrow with my ego and anxiety kicked up in high gear. Instead, I hope to stay prepared but open, relaxed and willing to work, ready to learn from each moment as it comes.