When you feel lost, look out for your lifeline

September 6, 2010

The universe has a way of throwing us a lifeline when we need one.

Not long after I blogged about feeling lost — and got so many encouraging comments from you all — an e-mail appeared in my inbox from The Hambidge Center. Does the name ring a bell? Hambidge is the artist’s colony where I spent time as a writer-in-residence last year. They offered me a two-week stay in September. Yes, as in this September. This month. Like, in two weeks.

Because I’m a believer in making your own luck, I should point out that I e-mailed the folks who run Hambidge, asking whether they had any openings, knowing they sometimes let former fellows fill in when there’s a cancellation. The universe is more likely to throw us lifelines when we ask for them. But it’s still a bit of magic.

I so need this. I need time to myself, in the woods, time to think and reflect and figure out where to go from here. My book needs it, too. I’m approaching the finish line for this round of revisions, and I’ll complete them in two weeks at Hambidge.

If you weren’t a reader of this blog last year, a quick recap of my five weeks at Hambidge: Background on the residency program, where I had my own little studio in the woods, met some awesome writers and artists who inspired me to create, and learned to enjoy the writing process. I also fell in love at Hambidge — with a dog.

The Hambidge Center. And Cooper, a stray dog who ended up coming home with me.

The tricky part about going to Hambidge this time around is that I’ve now got a job to think about, my new business. Internet access is limited there, and if I’m gonna go, I want to focus on my book anyhow. That means I’ll have to do a lot of preparation to get things in line before I go and take a few hours here and there during my residency to tend to my clients’ accounts.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I last retreated to those north Georgia mountains. A year since Cooper, The Lucky Hambidge Dog, followed me home. Part of the reason it’s hard to believe is because I’m still working on the same book. But some writers crank out manuscripts quickly, and apparently I’m not one of them. At least not yet.

So I’m going to Hambidge! I’ll come home with a fully revised manuscript (but not another dog).

Until then, I’m taking this lesson at face value: our lifelines are out there waiting for us, we just have to reach for them.

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    11 Replies to “When you feel lost, look out for your lifeline”

    • karen walker says:

      How fabulous, Lexi. It’s a perfect place for you to retreat and allow nature and the quiet to whisper your next moves.

    • Shirley says:

      So great that you have had this breakthrough, Alexis. Hope it exceeds your own great expectations and brings you another boon. I think you might enjoy the book Becoming a Life Change Artist, which I just reviewed. You seem like such an artist yourself.

    • Andrea James says:

      Wow. Has it really been one year? Yay for your new purpose and direction! Even if it’s only for the next month!

    • Andi says:

      Wow, I got goosebumps reading this! The Universe definitely throws us lifelines, but usually we are too distracted or panicking to notice them. Yours sounds awesome and it’s great that you’re going to do it!!! So excited for you and your book. 🙂

    • Alexis Grant says:

      Thanks for the comments, guys! Andi, you’re so right that we’re often too distracted to notice lifelines being thrown at us.

    • That’s wonderful new, Alexis! It’s hard enough to get invited the first time. Amazing to be invited again. You totally deserve this. Revise your heart out, but also take some time to just enjoy the woods.

      Right now, up to my nose in work in stinky NYC, I envy the time you’ll be spending out in the fresh air. Can’t tell you how incredible that sounds to me.

    • Heather Rae says:

      That’s exciting, Alexis! I’m really glad to hear you’re getting the chance to focus on your manuscript for a few weeks and have some time to yourself. Enjoy!

    • I wish I had something more original to say than OMG it’s been a year!?

    • Jessie Carty says:

      Have a great time! Wave as you pass by Charlotte 🙂

    • Lisa McKay says:

      I’m not a fast writer either, so I’m totally with you on that one. And, as for feeling lost… I get that too. I’m not exactly feeling lost right now, more overwhelmed by life. I get up some mornings and think “I just can’t do it.” Which is both a bit ironic and ridiculous, since i have less on my plate right now than at almost any point in the last seven years. But there it is. Hope the writer’s retreat is awesome.

    • Jen Chandler says:

      Oh that sounds fabulous! I’m so glad you get to go back. Five whole weeks devoted to writing? I think I’d explode from the sheer joy and peace of it all! Enjoy your time there 🙂


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