Sunday, September 09, 2007

Retreats

Patricia Wood, author of Lottery, blogged from the Maui Writer's Retreat, and her posts make it sound exactly like I thought it would be: writer heaven on earth. (The only retreat I've gone to was the Iowa Writer's Summer Program. I learned a lot and I'm very glad I went, but Iowa City ain't Maui.) I've wanted to go to this thing for years. And this year I came this close. But then I wimped out because of the expense. Knowing myself and knowing that I might need to bail out of my job so I could finish N2 made me think it was wiser to save my money. Maybe. But I still want to go. So I'm thinking of an incentive for myself. Like, if Orange Mint sells X number of copies, then I can go. Or if I come up with a great N3, then I can go.

But it doesn't get much bigger than selling N1 and N2, so if I didn't let myself go then, I'm going to have to work hard to give myself permission to go next year. Which cuts close to the bone. Is the truth that I didn't believe I deserved to spend $5,000 on myself, on my writing? I'm usually pretty good at saying yes to my "inner artist," but giving myself a trip to Hawaii seemed too big, too much. I'm going to have to work on that.

What do you do to say yes to your inner artist?

13 comments:

Sustenance Scout said...

I just read about Lottery; have you read it? I'll have to check out her site, too. So many blogs, so many books! I guess that's how I say yes to my inner artist, by promising time to read even when there's no time to read. Whatever works! K.

Lisa said...

I think you've more than earned Maui for your inner artist. Why not say you're going now? Three non-fiction books published and a debut novel due this year? If not now, when? Sure, it's expensive, but how much do you indulge yourself? Between the retreat fee and the books I read to go, I was into Grand Lake for $1,000. If it's the one thing you've wanted for years, is $5,000 really that unreasonable? I wouldn't base the "reward" on anything tied to things you can't control, like sales. Maybe you can set a goal for making some amount on certain freelance assignments. But seriously, you deserve this and you've really earned it for yourself already. You just need to give yourself permission and do it!

Carleen Brice said...

I haven't read Lottery yet, but it looks good.

Lisa, thanks for the encouragement. You're right!

Ello said...

I used to see Pat Wood's comments on Miss Snark's site all the time - she posted as Orion. And so when news of her book being published came out, it was big news over at Snark world. I of course had to buy and read Lottery and I have to tell you I loved it. Yes the villians are nearly caricatures of villainy, but you fall in love with the main characters and the story just really moves you.

My opinion on the Hawaii trip is this - life passes so quickly and we should not look back with regrets. If you keep telling yourself you don't deserve this expensive trip, one day you'll look back with regret for not going. Just do it. You don't have to have a book published and doing well to go, you just have to want to go. You don't need to rationalize it beyond that it is a wonderful experience for any writer. Lisa's right, if not now, then when? So if I can go next year, I know you will definitely be there, right? That way you can autograph my copy of Orange Mint and HOney. ;o)

Kelly Parra said...

I haven't giving myself a big treat for my writing. I give myself little ones along the way for hard work. It's fun!

Carleen Brice said...

Ello, I used to hang out in Snark World a lot (too much!). Imagine how many writers Ms. Snark has helped?!

As for Maui, let's ALL go! And I would love to autograph your book!

Kelly, thanks for stopping by! I think you're right: little rewards along the way are good too.

Bernice L. McFadden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernice L. McFadden said...

Let's try this again...:)

Thank you for stopping by my blog and congrats on your upcoming release...

Go to Maui - don't worry about the cost - you owe it to yourself and your inner artist.

Joy!
B

ORION said...

I too think you should go to Maui. I can't tell you how wonderful the retreat was and working with Karen Joy Fowler. The networking is fabulous and I learn so much each year. I know it's easier for me (living on Oahu) but it is a focus for me each year and each year I come back rejuvenated.
As encouragement?
I'll buy you a drink at Kumu's - The Chichis are made with FRESH coconut milk-
ps thanks for the kind comments about LOTTERY

Carleen Brice said...

Hi Patricia! Thanks for stopping by. Don't know what a Chichi is, but I'm in! :-)

And apologies to MISS Snark. Never Ms.

Sustenance Scout said...

And now I've discovered Patricia Wood and I can't wait to learn more about her, her writings, her fascinating life. I hesitated to admit when I first read this post and commented, but the hubby and I are going to Maui next month for a long-overdue grown-ups only getaway thanks to his mom and sisters who will get to hang out with our kids here in Denver while we're gone. Funny thing about growing up Catholic, but when you do decide to do something special for yourself, even when you know it's a fantastic thing to do, you feel incredibly guilty. Or at least I do. It helps that I've been so busy I haven't really thought about this trip yet (though I have to admit a visit to Patricia's blog got me pretty excited!), but the guilt's always there. Whatever! We'll all just have to plan to go the Maui conference next year (that includes you, too, Lisa!) so my upcoming trip can be purposeful; I'll be sure to take notes on all the best restaurants, for example. First on my list: have a Chichi at Kumu's! :)

Carleen Brice said...

What is it with the American hang up about pleasure and joy?! All these years later are we still Puritans? Enjoy Hawaii! Take lots of pictures and post 'em on your blog, and drink a chichi for me!

Sustenance Scout said...

Actually I think the Puritan work ethic has a lot to do with it! I'll be happy to have a Chichi for you, Carleen, as soon as I find out what the heck one is. I have a feeling they're really good. :)