Sunday, March 15, 2015

Love Your Writing

Several years ago (too many to count) I went on my first writer's retreat (unless you count the one time I had 1.5 hours of alone time in my office!).

Strawberry Creek -Photo Credit by Tamara Hanson

I loved it and it was a great way to sit and write without being disturbed. There were only 11 of us at a beautiful log cabin out on an acreage with no distractions: No TV, no Starbucks, no nearby mall, no internet, and no one vying for your attention.

Everyone had a purpose and were taking advantage of this time to do what they love...write. Some were writing poetry, a couple were writing screenplays, and others were writing short stories, articles and memoirs. I was working on my novel plus, tidying up other writings that I never got around to fixing.

It was quiet and beautiful. I walked and talked (briefly) to the other writers. I read, I wrote and I wrote some more. Not only did I eat amazing food that was lovingly prepared by three awesome women, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the cabin, award winning Canadian author, Rudy Wiebe.

The last night that we were there, we all read from our own work. It didn't have to be the stuff we had been working on at the retreat; we could read anything we had written. I chose to read something from a book I wrote a few years ago.

I'm not one for reading to an audience--it's a bit unsettling, and this was my first time reading my work to anyone. But, after it was all over, I was so glad that I did. It was a moment of getting out of my comfort zone and opening up to something that I had never done before. (Read my blog about comfort zones here.)

The point of this is: Even if you think that you can't read your work to someone else, give it a try anyway. Even if fear has gripped you tightly, think about how you will feel many years down the road or on your death bed: will you be sorry you didn't take the opportunity?

Taking that seemingly daunting step to share your work will be one of the greatest accomplishments of your life. You will not regret it! 

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