It’s 2015 and the Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions book is almost finished. We finished the writing last year, but that is still 5 years after I wrote this post when I was planning a retreat with my co-author June Hall in England, followed by an extra two weeks in Lithuania for writing and extra research. It’s interesting to see how things changed along the way as I worked on this book. I’m not re-posting these behind the scenes posts in chronological order. I’m looking for interesting things along the way. I hope you are enjoying them.
Remember, the pre-sales start on April 15 on Pubslush. That’s only 9 days. I’m so nervous and excited! So go to that page and become a fan so you get a notice when the launch begins and be one of the first people to receive a copy of Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions.
Writing Retreat Plan
Originally posted 01 July, 2009
I like to have a plan for a writing retreat. It may be something as simple as “write every day” when I’m just trying to give myself more space to explore creativity or to mine my subconscious for ideas. But on this retreat, I want to get the bulk of a book finished. The retreat is 2 parts: 1) In England, with my co-author and 2) In Lithuania.
Here’s the initial plan:
1-Finish writing all of the knitting sections for the book. I have a good outline and a rough draft of most of the material, but it needs to be revised for the type of book I want this to be. Still, I think more than half of the work is done
2-Get half of the patterns written and to the knitters. I think I’ve whittled it down to a manageable 19 projects. But I may have to readjust and add a few more sock designs and take out a few mittens. We’ll see.
3-Have the history section outlined and ready to fill in while I’m in Lithuania. I want to write it while I’m there because it’s the 1000 year anniversary of Lithuania this summer and I think being there at this time will bring up some interesting ideas, and will make the chapter on history more lively.
4-Get a good feeling for where my co-author is with her portions of the book.
5-Review, revise, and sign the contract.
6-Nail down deadlines for finishing the writing and the projects.
7-Go over photos to see what might work for various sections of the book and to decide if we need any new photos from Lithuania.
8-Decide what maps to include.
I think that’s more than enough.
June likes to write in the evenings. I usually prefer to write in the mornings or afternoons. So, during our retreat, we will do some enjoyable things in the mornings — visit friends, go swimming or walking, exercise, do some sight seeing, and so forth.
I need to be online during my normal working hours in the US so I can work on my day job, too, so we’ll come home for lunch, then work in the afternoon at the house or, perhaps, at a cafe. In addition to writing, we’ll be looking over research materials and examining knitted samples in June’s personal collection.
In the evenings we’ll work at home, and sometimes take a night off to watch a movie and just relax. Weekends we will make up as we go.
I think giving yourself time to think, exercise, and relax during a writing retreat is just as important as blocking out time to write. In a way, a writing retreat is a way to honor your writing and your life as an artist in addition to just getting practical work done. It’s a reminder that some things are more important than money and that the process is at least as important as the end product.
My only worry is that June does not know how to slow down. We need to spend a lot of time writing. So I hope by giving ourselves the mornings for other things, not related to the book, that June will be able to settle in and work for the rest of the day. She is a very active, energetic, and restless woman! Her energy level amazes me. She does know how to get serious work done, though, and she has done some major research and writing projects in the past. So I’m sure she knows her own pace and has work habits that suit her lifestyle. She wears me out though! LOL.
When I get to Lithuania, I’ll also be writing in the evenings because I’m attending a conference during the day. But I also need time to meet with friends and hang out. Since I only have a short section to write while I’m there, viskas būs gerai (everything will be OK).