I spent last week in a rented beach house with four other writers. We ate, wrote, wrote, went for walks, wrote, ate, wrote, and slept.
It was marvelous. I wrote 40,000 words in 5 days. That’s around 160 pages.
I feel so blessed to be working all out on fiction with other dedicated writers, not just the four I was with on the Coast, but others I connect with regularly, in person and through online forums.
It makes me wonder what the rest of you are doing to get support around your dreams and desires? Do you have a cohort of equally dedicated folks, whether in person or online?
Support and camaraderie are important, whether for spiritual growth, justice work, making art, or raising families.
It’s easy for busy-ness to get in the way of connection.
Taking last week out on the coast was a great way for me to connect, and I want to do it again.
But next time? I’ll be more careful. Some of you know that after years of struggling with being tired and getting sick a lot, I finally got a hypothyroid diagnosis. You can read about it here.
Well, after a few months of dietary changes and medication, I’m overall doing much better. However, I still need to be mindful. Careful, even.
The night before my week on the coast began, there was a big U2 concert in Seattle. I hadn’t seen them since the early 1980s, plus, a writer friend and one of my partners are both huge fans and wanted to go. So, despite some trepidation on my part, we trekked up to Seattle for the concert, crashed in a hotel after, drove home to Portland. Then writer friend and I packed up a second car and made the drive down to the Coast.
In other words, I started the writing week sleep deprived. It really threw me off. Despite my high word count –and I had planned on 50k– I lost some time, needing to rest or go take naps. I lost one morning entirely. And of course, though I did my best, I did not get enough sleep each night we were away.
This week, I’m paying for it with what feels like a relapse. My brain is foggy, and I’m very tired. I’m barely squeaking out any words, but I am still writing (4750 words so far this week. We’ll see how many words the rest of the week brings). The last few days, I felt well enough for some long walks. Today? I’m playing that by ear.
I’ve also just ordered more tests from my doctor, and am doing all the other things: walking, eating well, resting.
Why am I bringing this up? Because for too long, I struggled with my health in silence, only mentioning it on rare occasions, because I was doing all I could to stay healthy and even then, it was never enough.
So I want all of you out there who are struggling to create under difficult, sometimes even crushing conditions – many of which are far worse than mine – to know that I’m cheering you on.
We don’t have to give up. We just have to do what we can.
Doing our best to feed and support our desires is a worthy task. We can do that a little at a time, or in a great rush, depending on how much energy we have on any given day.
And sometimes? We need to immerse ourselves in beauty, and spend some time with friends who are as excited about our work as we are.
Community can build us up, whether that community is one friend, or a cohort.
I hope you allow yourself some of that.
I want to be healthy, creative, and in love with this beautiful world, and each day, I do my best to manifest all of these.
And I’m wishing you beauty, support, and vitality.