Ever go on a church retreat? I did.
Antioch Weekend at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Roseland, New Jersey. In the 80s.
You got to wear your Jordache jeans and sleep over at host houses and hang out with kids you didn’t know (read: boys you didn’t know) from public school. Hot.
We sat in the school classrooms, but it didn’t feel like school. We had prayer groups and discussions, talked about life and faith. Then we’d stand in a circle and hold hands and sway to Led Zeppelin (because it was a “cool” church weekend).
Maybe someone would cry. And it was totally normal to hug a lot, which provided an off-the-charts oxytocin-addled high.
It was the first time in my life that I felt like an adult. Not a student, not a kid, but a person, with feelings and opinions and ideas that mattered.
I felt closer to the other kids after a single weekend than I did with the kids I’d known my whole life. I felt seen and known. We all cried when it ended. I learned that bearing witness for another person was one of the most important things I could do. I believe it still is.
A few years ago I attended a different retreat—a writing retreat, led by a woman I’d never met. We were in Rhode Island, the leaves starting to turn, and I woke up the second day and felt it—that same elevated, energized, happy feeling.
Only this was way better. I wasn’t fumbling through prayers and awkward teenage hugs.
I was writing. Writing in ways I hadn’t written in years—free of judgment, free of fear and criticism and self-doubt. I was absolutely high on it, on the energy in that room.
I left that retreat changed. It was an intoxicating blend of feeling totally new and yet returning to something familiar.
That’s the goal of a retreat, the best kind—to discover and remember. Both things.
I still go on those retreats, led by the fabulous Suzanne Kingsbury, who’s become a close friend. And she trained me to lead my own.
Thing is, not everyone can get away for a four-day retreat. (If you’re reading this in April 2020, no one is going anywhere.)
But you CAN get to the page. You can still get that intense satisfaction of spending time on stuff that matters to you. You can still find renewed confidence, ease, and excitement in your writing and work again, no matter what shape or form it takes.
This is why I designed 30 Days on the Page!
This 30-day audio program will help you break new ground on your new ideas, and gain momentum in developing, fleshing them out, and making them real and ready to share with the people you most want to reach.
It draws on the principles of the Gateless Writing Method which is designed to quiet the critic and invite ease into your creative process. Get out of your own way—and feel your own work expanding, instead of feeling constricted by fear and self-criticism.
- 30 days of prompts designed to tap your creativity, intuition, memory, and genius
- A daily audio guide that takes you through the daily exercise, so that you can write in real-time
- “5 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Genius” download and audio guide that gives you insights and exercises for changing the way you approach your work
And it’s $1/day! So check it out.