I’m on my way to northern Georgia for two weeks at The Hambidge Center, an artists’ colony I’ve written about a lot on this blog. Two weeks of solitude and reflection! Two weeks of connecting with other creative spirits! Two weeks of daily walks in the woods! And most importantly, two weeks of working on my book.
Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish:
Finish revising my manuscript. I’m planning to hand it over to my literary agent for edits in early October, which means I’m nearly at the finish line (for this round). I’ve got a few big-picture issues to work on, including strengthening my theme and beefing up the third section. This is what I’ll spend most of my two weeks on, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Work on several other creative pieces. I’ve had a few personal essays in the works for months, including a Modern Love column (partly for practice, partly because being published in The New York Times column is on my bucket list). If I finish revising my manuscript, this is my next priority.
Re-read Your Life As Story. Well, in truth I’ll probably skim the book. I found the memoir-writing guide by Tristine Rainer to be so helpful a year or so when I read it, that I think reading it again — while at a different point in my writing process — will be beneficial.
Write columns and guest blog posts. When I need a break from my manuscript, I’ll work on a few guest blog posts and columns I’ve been thinking about for a while but haven’t gotten around to, including advice about transitioning from journalism to memoir.
Think about what’s next. I’m planning to take some solitary walks in the woods to have quiet time with myself. I want to think about my priorities in life so I can make a good decision about where to go from here. Do I want to write another book? Go on another adventure? Or would I feel more stable in a full-time job? Should I move to Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, or somewhere else entirely? I hope to make these decisions in the coming months, and having some alone, in-the-woods time to think about my options always helps.
Now your turn: If you had one day to yourself, without the distractions that come with work, the Internet and even family, what would you hope to accomplish? How can you make that happen?