‘So if you’re on a writing retreat, does that mean you are here all on your own?’ My holiday-friend frowned as if she was not sure she was going to like the answer.
‘Well, I’ve spoken to Angelos in the minimarket, Nikos in the Taverna and Wendy at the travel agent’s office this morning,’ I smiled in response, ‘and of course I get to spend time with the other writers in the group.’
‘Oh, I so want to write a book but I just can’t do that whole group thing,’ she said, screwing up her nose as if expecting an unpleasant waft of Greek plumbing at any moment.
‘Me neither!’ I replied. ‘I do the whole-self with like-minded-people thing!’
Holiday friend was now staring curiously at me as if I was speaking a different language.
‘What are you writing about, if you don’t mind me asking?’ She spoke slowly, with a clear pronunciation of her vowels, whilst trying to look a little disinterested.
‘Well, this morning we spent a while just emptying our mind of thoughts and then worked on the detail of a character from our book.’ I explained.
‘Hmm, you see I just couldn’t write to order like that,’ Holiday Friend shrugged, as if to let herself off her own imaginary hook.
‘Me neither!’ I replied. ‘If the delivery comes out of hours, I simply note it down and present it to the group at the next meeting. It’s really not a problem with the leader.’
‘So who tells you what to write, the group leader?’ Holiday Friend’s frown had smoothed out and her eyes flashed a spark of interest.
‘We all receive our instructions directly from the Muse,’ I explained.
A bead of sweat was now forming on her brow. Things were hotting up under the mid-afternoon Mediterranean sun and the gentle lapping sound of the surface ripple of the swimming pool alongside us was getting louder.
‘Do you mind having to be in a class when the sun and the scenery is just so beautiful?’ She asked twirling her palm as if to show me what I was missing.
‘Not when the class is in the beach-side café or the bar,’ I grinned. ‘We have also held a couple of sessions in the sea!’
‘So how many words have you actually written?’ She continued in her search for truth and justice.
‘You mean today?’ I asked.
‘Well, since you’ve been here? Is it really possible to write a whole book in a week?’
I had to think about this.
‘I guess it depends on your intention,’ I responded after a minute or so. ‘I came here for some guidance and inspiration for a book of short stories I am currently writing. The word count just isn’t part of the formula for the week, for me. However, I can’t speak for the other writers. We’re all at varying, individual stages of the creative process.’
‘That actually sounds quite cool!’ Holiday Friend had finally found some inspiration of her own. ‘Maybe I’ll do it next year!’
Her comment set me thinking about the excellent iced coffee served at the snack bar.
‘Great! Go for it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get a drink and find some shade in which to write. I’ve just had a great idea for a blog!’ Helen's first book and blog are here
Are you ready to Write Your Book? - details are through here
News from the Muse
This blog is about my back and the road to recovery and something might resonate with others in pain and maybe my discoveries will help.
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