I've mentioned before that I'm not above cruising the writing magazines in the bookstore and skimming articles before I decide to invest. There are lots of them out there, just check out the links on the Publication Page of IWSG. But I also gather ideas for my blog during those peeks between the covers.
Recently I skimmed an article about a man who had quit his teaching job, took off for a remote village in Europe and sat down to write the next bestseller. Should you quit your day job? Check out what others say about quitting the bill paying job.
I don't remember the genre or even the author's name, but he lived in a falling down cottage for six months until his money ran out. He was so proud of the 100 pages he wrote during that time, what he consider a great start to his book. Really!
Now that I'm a full time writer, I spend lots more hours in my comfy office than when I held my full time teaching job. I still have lots of things that keep my busy. We have a six bedroom house and lots of outside area that needs care. My husband and I, now that our children have or are preparing to take flight from the nest, are fixing up here and there in preparation of selling the homestead. I'm glad I have time for that and to visit my elderly mother, but I still consider myself to have a full time job. Would I feel that way if I wrote one hundred pages in six months?
If one is working at a full time job, writing in the evenings and on weekends, one hundred pages could be pretty good. If one is in the midst of child rearing, one hundred pages is quite an accomplishment. If you think you're busy when they're infants, wait until the teen years. But if I left everything behind and had nothing to do except feed myself, do occasional laundry and walk on the seaside, would I be thrilled with one hundred pages in six months? I don't think so.
Are writing retreats good ways to get the creative juices flowing? Is surrounding oneself with nothing but the book the way to get that novel done? I'm sure it is for some people. I've read other stories of writers who retreated to quiet and isolation when creating their jewels. As NaNo approaches for many people, not me, I'm sure lots of the participants will be pounding the keyboards at lunch breaks, while fixing dinner, in between loads of laundry and perhaps even while working on the treadmill. And some of them will produce jewels, maybe still unpolished, but rich just the same.
If you had the chance to isolate yourself and write without any distractions, how much would you expect yourself to produce? Have you ever taken a writing retreat? Where did you go and how much did you get done? Have you ever considered taking the plunge, quitting the day job and trying to make it as a writer?