Thursday, February 4, 2016

Patrice, The Writer?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, or if you are my “real-life” friend, you would know I am a writer. I have a degree in English and spent the better part of my traditional career as a medical writer. I do a lot of freelance writing, too, for magazines, blogs, and websites, on topics ranging from wellness to backpacking. 

One of the most common questions I get—besides “just how old are you??”—is:

“Are you going to write a book?”

As a writer by trade and education, OF COURSE I WANT TO WRITE A BOOK.

But, if I learned anything over the years of hob knobbing with other writers, it is this.

Writing a book is the single most difficult thing they ever attempted. This is coming from accomplished athletes, those who have climbed Everest, those who have endured multi-day adventure races, those who are battling chronic diseases and working mothers. 

And most non-writers don’t understand or realize just how difficult it is. From finding the time to inspiration, it is just not something that happens in a year, let alone in years. One recently published friend recently commented on how “glacially slow” the process is. 

For these reasons, and many more, I have been scared to start the process. J & I have created a very uncomplicated life. We have few financial responsibilities. We mostly work for ourselves, when and where we want. We have grandeur ideas, but steer away from any big commitments. Writing a book could complicate our mutual goals and expenditures. 

Still, I feel like a fire has been growing inside me. I write when I feel inspired, which has been a lot these last 5 years or so. Because of this, I have 3 books started. I follow blogs from published authors and always attend those freebie workshops like, “How to Write a Book.” I come home with a million pages of notes and big dreams. I have enough advice to write a book about writing a book. But, I always let my fire simmer rather than feed it more. 

I recently decided 2016 would be the year I would focus more on writing. I’m not going to say I am definitely writing a book because I really don’t know what will happen. 

So just know this. I intend to write in 2016. A lot. I am going to focus on our 2014-15 Te Araroa trek first. It is a timely topic and there are very few books out there about it. This is one of the books I’ve already started writing (4,000 words - yahoo!!) and will try to keep the momentum going. Not making any promises to you, Internet, or to myself. 

This very large preface leads to a big announcement (if you made it this far). 

Today, I am heading to New Zealand for a writing retreat through Patchwork Farm. Seriously. I am just about to get on a plane right now (without J) and it will land in Queenstown on Feb. 6 (skipping Feb. 5). 

First explanation: why a writing retreat?

One of the biggest pieces of advice I received from other writers is that if I was serious about writing a book, go to a writer’s retreat. Basically, give your writing undivided attention and be amongst other writers for feedback and guidance. 

Second explanation: why New Zealand? 
I started searching for retreats last year and discovered this one in NZ. Everything about it spoke to me. All women. Yoga everyday. Writing everyday. New Zealand. This is the first year for the retreat to take place in NZ, so I took that as a sign of fate. 

I will be in New Zealand through Feb. 17. As I said, J is not with me, and don’t you dare cry him a river because his goal is not to write a book, but to climb big mountains, like Denali. 

I will probably not blog from NZ, but, you never know. I do have a few scheduled posts for you all, so don’t worry about my absence! 

Wish me luck. Maybe I’ll have a book written by 2020. 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You go! Your number 1 fan is cheering you on....

Jennifer Young said...

Can't wait to buy all your books!

Shayna said...

Yay, I know how excited you are for your retreat! Thanks for all your glowing compliments about my article. All your life experiences will kick my butt. Be inspired and focused, and have fun in New Zealand!

Misti said...

One thing I have heard over and over is that waiting for inspiration is waiting for your book to not be written. It's a very hard thing to swallow, but definitely true. A little each day or every week is better than waiting for the inspiration. (saying this to myself as I say it to you! LOL)

Enjoy NZ again!!

Mom/MIL said...

Oh course you will write a book. And people will read it. And your fans will beg for another. I have no doubt in any of this.