Retreating into Writing

Excited. And nervous. Excited and nervous is how I feel at the moment: thanks for asking.  In less than 48 hours I’ll be ensconced on a writing retreat at Moniack Mhor. Just me and my laptop and a couple of books. Well, not quite – me, my laptop, a couple of books, several other writers, a publisher for one of the days, the Moniack Mhor team, I imagine several, no lots, of other books and a huddle of laptops; but you get what I mean. No mobile (no signal), no TV (not that Mr D and I have one), no supermarket at the end of the road (though I doubt I’ll starve) and no Mr D (though there will be company – see above for other writers, etc).

moniack mhor bedroomSince winning the Work In Progress grant a few weeks ago, I’ve been wavering between excitement and nerves. A week to write, that’s exciting, but with a group of people I’ve never met before, that’s nerve-wracking. On more recent days, I’ve even been a wee bit scared: what if my writing isn’t good enough? What if I get there and everyone else is so much better and more confident and –

‘What if it’s absolutely fantastic?’ said Mr D. ‘What if you love every minute? What if you don’t want to come home?’

What if he’s right? I hope he’s right (except for the not wanting to come home). I’m sure he will be.

It’s not my first time on a retreat. I’ve been to several meditation and yoga retreats, particularly during my yoga teacher training – I’ve even been on one which involved fire-walking and a solo one in a hut above Loch Voil. And I’ve loved all of them (and been happy to go home when they ended).

Moniack Mhor viewThere’s something about being allowed the space and time to write (or meditate or do yoga or whatever); the permission to forget about all distractions and concentrate on the thing you love. And Moniack Mhor, just looking at the picture of it draws the tension from my shoulders. How could I fail to be inspired?

And so I’m off. I’ll take lots of pictures and write about it when I get back. Until then …

Now, dungarees or jeans? Walking boots or wellies? Books –