The Best Laid Plans

(aka – how my long awaited writing retreat was a total bust)

Like many of you, I’ve spent the majority of the last year and a half in my house, with my family. 24/7.

Unlike many, I was fortunate to have a lot of space (including a backyard) so it wasn’t much of a hardship. In fact, the forced proximity with my kids and husband actually brought us closer together. But I also longed for some alone time. Where I didn’t have to make meals or make conversation. I craved silence so I could really focus on my writing.

When the pandemic restrictions lifted and we were finally able to travel again, I booked three nights in an Airbnb in Whistler. I usually prefer to be near water when I write but I thought I’d give the mountains a try.

Look at me, so excited, so unaware of what lay ahead.

The timing was perfect. I’d just hit 60K words in my current WIP and envisioned myself typing those two magical words (The. End.) on the first draft while enjoying the fresh air and quiet. I went into the weekend with so much hope and excitement I could barely contain it as I pulled away from the house, pressed play on my audiobook (Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid) and hit the road. It was going to be a magical getaway.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be the complete opposite. After a promising start, with takeout Mexican food, some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that I didn’t have to share and 2,000 words written, a publishing related phone call on morning of my first full day took all the wind out of my sails.

Anyone in this business knows you have to have a thick skin because there are so many rejections to manage before you get a yes. And for the most part, I have developed a healthy attitude about disappointment. But this call did me in.

Maybe it was because my expectations were high. Maybe it was because after months on submission the no’s were getting me down and I really wanted to go up. Maybe it was because the best laid plans rarely seem to work out.

Nearly a month after my disappointing trip, I’m still trying to find my footing (and my words) again and it doesn’t feel great. I’m trying to cut myself some slack but it’s hard. And I guess that’s the point of this little story.

Right now, everything feels a little too hard. The words aren’t flowing, doubt is taking over and I’m not sure what will break me out of this funk. But I do know something will, it always does. So I’ll wait not-so-patiently for the clouds to part and the confidence to return. At which time I will write with abandon and feel that glorious feeling of accomplishment yet again.

We’re heading off to the lake in a few weeks and, fingers crossed, the water gives me the inspiration I need. Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans. 😉

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1 comment
  • Aww, that sounds like a gut-wrenching phone call. I myself still haven’t developed a thick enough skin to handle rejection, to be sure. Anyway, thanks for this post and wishing you all the best!

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