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Approaching Life as a Writer’s Retreat

Ever since we moved to Finland I’ve talked about approaching this time as a writer’s retreat. Of course, that’s when I expected that we’d be here for two years. By the time our current residence permit expires we’ll have been here for six, and we have every intention of staying forever if we can, so that original plan has been out the window for a long time.

If I had my way, I would do nothing but write, read, and drink coffee. As it works out, that’s still a significant portion of my day. I can deal with having to do marketing and accounting as part of the job. Household chores don’t both me. What keeps coming back around, though, is this idea that I have to interact with the world in a certain way in order to sell books. It’s the opposite of being the kind of quasi-monastic hermit I desire to be.

My role model in this has been Warren Ellis. Now, granted, he can get away with a certain lifestyle because he’s Warren- fncking-Ellis.  He has declared himself to be retired from the internet, save for his own website and newsletter and times when he’s contractually obligated to promote something. In a recent post he talks about how all of the moving parts stress him out, and how the only thing that brings him joy is creating things. So he’s only going to do that, as much as the world allows him to.

Treating Life as a Writer’s Retreat

Ellis talks about taking time to figure things out. That’s why I did during this internet hiatus. I’m making sure that I have time built into my ongoing schedule so that I can continue to figure it out, and make adjustments. It’s about the journey.

Because it’s not about having a writer’s retreat. It’s not even about having a writer’s life. It’s just about having the life that you want. I hit upon the notion that I needed to write a novel to write a novel, with no care for commercial concerns of the opinions of other people. The reason I went back to Twitter and will begin blogging again is because I enjoy creating, regardless of whether people enjoy the things I put out into the world. I can do those things on my own terms, within my own comfort level, and ignore people who say that I’m doing it wrong.

Regular blogging begins 2 December 2019. Until then, you’ll get interludes like this. So subscribe already! And please, leave comments below. I want your feedback and your questions.

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