I’m writing this from my room in Ubud, Bali at five in the morning. I can’t sleep. It’s a mix of excitement about being here, jetlag and the fact that I’m three hours behind Melbourne time.
As is typical when I travel away from home, I experience some levels of anxiety about the process and it can be exhausting. This makes me wonder why I do it when I could be tucked up at home with my own pillow (pillows are always too fat for me in hotels). But then I’m transported to another place and time and I remember why I love to travel and why going on retreat is so useful for a creative project.
I’ve arrived three days before running this retreat so that I can work on my own writing. My own mini retreat. I’ve already edited an article I’ve written for Supernal Australia magazine (out next month) and created a plan for what I will work on while I’m here. I have two projects on the go. The top priority is to clean up my novel to submit to a competition (yes publishers send out their work too) and the final touches to my travel journal about the Camino de Santiago that will be published next month.
Removing yourself from your life can help you to really immerse yourself in your work. This is why we call it a retreat. It’s a time to concentrate on yourself and a project that might take months at home if you manage to carve out time from work and family. There’s no cooking, cleaning, driving to work or any of that stuff that is life. This means that you can make real inroads with something that you may have been struggling with.
What can be better than going on retreat to work on your project? Doing it with a facilitator, to guide you in your work, and a group of likeminded people. Other people retreating from life to work on writing. Other people to bounce ideas with and brainstorm solutions.
On Friday we start. I can’t wait to work with this group on their projects and to see the books develop in a huge way. We’ll do a lot of writing (surprise!) and we’ll be working on our creative processes. Being shown different way to access your creative juices can really open up your mind and allow the writing to flow.
The anticipation for me now is high. I’m so excited to finally be here after so much planning and my intentions for this group is for them to realise that they can do this. They can write and articulate what they want to say through story.
While I wait impatiently I will write, explore Ubud, sit by the pool and have a massage (or three).