Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My writer's retreat

I have a big trip coming up--nine weeks in Saigon. It's an unusual situation in that I don't really have any plans or obligations. My wife is going for work and so in tagging along a certain amount of my expenses are being subsidized by that. And my own employment situation allows me the flexibility to take off like this.

The trip is mostly for pleasure, but I have thought about rustling up some paying freelance writing work. Lately however I'm thinking of dropping that plan and concentrating exclusively on this novel. Eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant, write, walk around in the city, go back to the hotel and write, nap through the heat, write some more, go out and find dinner, write some more, etc. Just work 9 weeks solid on the book.

I would allow myself to follow other opportunities that come up--invitations from my wife's friends and colleagues, sidetrips that I have in mind. Even following my nose into other writing projects that I got inspired to dream up. It's too rare and valuable an opportunity not to take advantage of things like that.

But prioritizing the novel over paying work. That's the big shift in planning I'm contemplating right now.

I'd feel a lot better about this plan if I knew I would be ready for revision as opposed to rewriting. Rewriting takes up more stores of energy and I don't know if I can put in more than a couple hours a day even if my decks are cleared of other obligations. Revision, I think, I can power through for hours at a time. But I'm pretty sure I won't be to that stage by then.

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