Before I tell you what’s going on, I just have to remark that it’s fun to be back on my blog fairly regularly. It involves a lot of 5am days and writing before going to work, then writing in the evenings after work, but I’m just having a lot of fun right now.
Back when I was doing a lot of those posts on meditating, I signed up for a meditation retreat. At the time, I was really thrilled about going on a little adventure like that: getting away, having undisturbed meditation time, and truly having no access to technology.
Here’s the part where I admit where I’m utterly human and have changed my mind.
Okay, I pride myself on not being *that* addicted to technology. I don’t like having my phone with me all the time, and I make sure to not have any technology in my room at night, save for the alarm…which, unfortunately, is my phone. But, I make a point to not look at it until I’m ready to wake up, with is usually right before the alarm.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand waking up to the noise of an alarm and it doesn’t matter how soothing the sounds might be. However, I’m scared to not set it and sleep way too late, but I usually wake up right before it goes off. Anyways….
I think I am addicted to technology, though: I check email at least several times a day. I check Facebook too much – sometimes once a day, but sometimes more. A lot more. There’s Twitter and Kindle and Google and…and…
My life is too encased in my computer. I use it for not only work, but for leisure, too.
It gets hard to separate the two.
That’s one of the reasons I signed up for the retreat. I told myself that I will pull away from it all, get back in touch with nature and have a “reset.”
But now, I admit I’m not so excited about going on this retreat later today through the afternoon on Sunday.
I get the feeling that it’s pretty rigid in terms of schedule. I’m not a big meat eater (avian and fish foods make up the biggest part of my meat-eating habits, even then, most of my meals during the week are vegetarian). All the meals are vegan at the retreat center. And there are mandatory silent hours.
I love to write and create, and I do my share of talking. In fact, people tell me that I tell way too many stories sometimes. Yes, I share too much and love to think out loud. Yup. This girl right here. They could very well kick me out.
I would rather stay home the next few days and write and watch movies. I may end up having to get up at 4am and spend hours on a meditation cushion. I have no idea; I don’t know the schedule. I’ve always wanted to try meditation for 8 hours or longer in a day, but I’m not sure I want today or tomorrow to be that day.
But that’s what I always default to: staying home and writing. I write all the time…and I wish I had more to show for that writing, but…that’s neither here nor there.
Which brings me to “the book.” The ghost story.
At the time I booked the retreat, cranking out a novel in a month’s time (that’s what I intend to do, anyways) wasn’t on my radar. I was in the height of stress at my day job. (I often wonder how much it’s worth it to be under so much stress, even if it isn’t year-round.) I needed meditation just to make it through the day.
I make it sound like an addiction. At least it’s an enlightening one. Ommmmmm….
But, as I’ve gotten back into feverish writing, I’ve slacked off in my practice. I tend to think of writing as quite meditative. If you’re writing a novel, you don’t think about the rest of what’s going on in your life:
You enter a different world where there are all these characters you’ve invented and you’re sculpting them into 3-D figures who are totally believable.
I know I’m not there, yet. I’ve finished the first edit – it was a content edit and took about a week to do. It went fast, but I’m doing that on purpose: if you go through quickly, you can spot the broader plot problems more easily.
Which is exactly what happened. I corrected a lot of things as I went through the first draft.
I’m halfway through the second edit. This edit is more of a read-through. It’s another look at the plot and character development, but not many additional words or corrections. As of right now, though, I have about 147 different notes I’ve added.
Draft three will be addressing all the problems I’ve spotted. It’ll be more like a content edit.
Draft four will be a final read-through.
And then it will be off to alpha readers. (Or are they called beta readers?)
Except it’s killing me that I won’t be looking at a computer for 4 days.
True, that’s a complaint. I really have nothing to complain about. It’s just that I feel like I’m on literary fire and I don’t want the flames to die out and my words to get drenched.
I have entertained the thought, however, that this could be perfect timing. That stepping away for a few days will help my mind subconsciously process everything so I come back with the best third draft ever.
If you need me, I’ll guess I’ll see you on Sunday. I’ll be headed off into the deep recesses of the jungle, where few people have ever tread in that undisturbed wilderness…
Just kidding. It’s in the mountains near my old stomping grounds, where I used to live. Ironically, it’s not far from there. But it IS isolated, and it is in the wilderness. I’ll be in my own tent. Wish me luck.