There’s something magical about going to a different destination. Breaking away from everything going on in your life to focus on yourself for a change. That’s exactly what I did when I took myself away from my family, my job, my social life, to concentrate on my writing.
In my last post, I was battling to stay motivated in the re-writing of my novel, Sydney’s Boxer. I felt as if I wasn’t making progress. I was questioning why I’d decided to rewrite anything as it was taking forever to finish. I took a step back, examined and reminded myself how far I’ve come in my writing journey. I wrote Sydney’s Boxer in a year and a month. I entered a competition, became a finalist and was announced, 2nd runner-up. I have a burning desire to finish and publish the manuscript. I’d put in too much work and sacrifice to give up now!
Last year when I was pressured to finish Sydney’s Boxer for the competition, I booked a 2-night stay in Gordon’s Bay to write uninterrupted. It was wonderful. I had an entire studio to myself with views of the ocean. I was in writing heaven. I got so much done during that time. I left invigorated and motivated to finish the rest of my novel. I desperately needed this now. So my search began for another place to inspire me.
I managed to find a beautiful place within a short space of time. Without thinking too much about it, I booked it, put in leave and made it happen. My family would have to do without me for 3 nights. There were no complaints and because I’m a great planner, the house didn’t fall apart without me. On a Tuesday, I packed my car and left to a little cottage in Glencairn, a small suburb before Simon’s Town.
The cottage was cozy, beach-inspired and had everything I needed for a mini-break. The highlight was the view from the balcony – miles of ocean that turned a different hue each time I stood before it. I loved everything about the place, even the train that snaked along beside the ocean, stopping at Glencairn station, then continuing on its way. I easily would’ve stood on that balcony forever if it wasn’t for the purpose of my trip!
My laptop came out and so did my draft of Sydney’s Boxer. I began rewriting and self-editing. The beauty of being away from everything is your time is yours. No responsibilities, no disturbances, no routine chores, nothing. I concentrated on my novel like a full-time job, working from mid-morning to around 21h00 at night. I ate simple meals that required no cooking. I took stretch breaks after each chapter on the balcony, savoring the sights and sounds of glorious Glencairn. The owner of the cottage, Rob kindly allowed me to sit on the deck that was sun-soaked in the mornings to write. Rob’s dogs, Saber and Stormy kept me company. I’d found a slice of paradise.
During my stay, I managed to rewrite and self-edit 8 chapters. More than I’ve done in a long time. It got me thinking about how much I’d achieve as a full-time writer. I’ve been yearning for this for years now. Fear has kept me caged to my day-job and instilled doubt that I’ll be unable to sustain myself and my family as an artist. Yes, I’d probably not afford to take short breaks in beautiful destinations, but I’d be fulfilling my purpose. Isn’t that what we’re all meant to do?
My writing retreat was a huge success. Not only did I finish more than I intended. It gave me the drive to finish Sydney’s Boxer, to get it ready for the next stage in the writing process. It also set the wheels in motion of becoming a full-time writer. I don’t know if I’ll make it, I don’t know what my future holds. The time will never be right, but if I have the courage to say yes who knows what the universe has in store for me 🙂