Why Run Away to Write?

Cabin on the lakeIf you’ve followed my blog lately, you know I’ve been struggling to find time to write. (See my last blog post, “Winning the Fight to Write.”) My day job, as much as I love it, has dominated my time including after hours. The work load is often overwhelming and when I finally find free time, I’m exhausted. (Not the best time to write.) But there is good news.

Every November I literally run away for a week to write. And in the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, I run to a cabin in the woods. While I’ll admit it is more of a luxury cabin than a log cabin, it nevertheless is nestled in the north woods of Wisconsin and perched high above a lake.

Why run away to write? Well, in my case, I’m desperate to climb behind my keyboard and get back to work. I crave having a room with a view and nothing to distract me but a few chatty birds or occasionally a few foraging black bears.

But there are more benefits to running away to write in a cabin in the woods. What is better for a writer than to be alone with his thoughts? A time to pause and see the big picture. Time to think through a novel plot, craft a subplot, dream up a character or character flaws, catch up on your blog, or write an article that has been nagging you for months. A cabin in the woods is not only a place to work, it’s a place to do your best work.

And then there’s the quiet; that restful, peaceful quiet that reminds you how important it is to check-out of the rat race. As I remove my wristwatch, and take my life off the clock, my body beings to relax. After a few days in the cabin, I feel myself “come down” from the pace of the race. I begin to think with greater clarity—-perhaps because I’m writing in the early morning hours rather than late night. Ideas seem to free flow while I’m overlooking the lake. Productivity rises, inhibition falls. My confidence grows in direct proportion to the rest that refreshes me. And the image of “a writer in the woods” creates a magic all its own. Thoreau was on to something. He knew writing in the woods produces a certain power and inspiration as the writer retreats from his routine and gives his thoughts time to find their voice.

In just a few weeks, I’ll run away to write in a cabin in the woods and hopefully, in this writer’s paradise, my thoughts will run away with me.

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Published in: on November 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Enjoy the solitude. Would be a lovely place to write by the sounds of it. 🙂

    • It is nice. A once a year retreat to catch up on the work that has fallen behind due to the demands of life. Every writer should take a retreat if only for one day. We all need it, and all would love it. Thanks so much for your comments. And a special thank you for following this blog.

  2. Jim, I am so envious 🙂
    It’s not just writer’s who need and crave that solitude – editors do too. I need a place, all alone, where only the birds and small wildlife are minor distractions, so that I can immerse myself in good books again. The well needs to replenished otherwise our creativity dries up.
    I try to give myself that solitude as much as I can by turning off all the electronic devices and (in the winter) lighting a fire and candles and treating myself to a few chapters of my favourite book. Of course, this does not happen for me nearly as much as I need it to 🙂

    Good blog 🙂

    • Cindy,

      Yes, you as an editor need a rest. Editors work so hard. I need to catch up on my reading too. I used to read so much that it became one more reason not to write. I reversed that trend. If there is time for only one, I write. Yet, I’m anxious to climb inside a good book too.

      Thanks for the idea to turn off electronic devices for some solitude. Great idea. Thanks for writing to me.


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