I tout myself as an “idea” person. I come up with more ideas than I can possibly implement here at the colony. To be honest, not all of them are good ideas, so it’s wise to let some of them go, but many are worthwhile. I just don’t have the time, the money, the equipment, or some other necessary item to take some of my ideas past the “idea” stage. I put those in the “someday” category, or the “maybe” category,” or the “when you’ve done everything else, here’s one more thing to try” category. I don’t want to forget them, so I write them down in my Idea Journal. There’s no particular order or structure to it. It’s a jumble, a conglomeration of randomness, a gathering of the wispy thoughts bouncing around in my mind all the time. Having the ideas all in one book, though, makes for a handy cache when I’m ready to start something new.
I gather words and phrases in a different journal. These are snippets I’ve stumbled upon while reading, listening, or simply observing the world. When I’ve reached a writing draught and every phrase I think of seems downright stupid, it’s helpful to pull out my word journal and peruse the jewels on those pages waiting to be rediscovered. Sometimes, I use the words exactly as written, or I use one of the forms of the words, or sometimes the word itself launches me into a new way of thinking and relating, and I use it as inspiration and arrive at a completely different place.
There’s another type of gathering that I get to experience multiple times a year at RWC. It’s the gathering of people who’ve signed up for a themed, all-inclusive weekend retreat. Writers come from many different states to sit around the large table with us and talk and learn. We’ve hosted 32 retreats in the 5 years the colony has existed and every single one of them left me awed and inspired. The writers are the reason! When like-minded people gather to share their energy along with their willingness to learn and grow, magical things tend to happen. I’ve witnessed such magic at RWC.
We’re brainstorming about retreats for 2024 right now, cataloging ideas, titles, and themes. I’d like to ask you, newsletter readers, about YOUR ideas for retreats. Are there specific things you’d like to see us offer? Are there specific things you can teach and lead? Give us your thoughts in response to this newsletter and if we think it’s a good fit for us, I’ll email you. It’s fun to think of all of our writer energies converging as we gather new ideas. Thanks for gathering with us!