Thursday, August 9, 2012

Retreat! Retreat!

I'm on my long-anticipated writing retreat. In fact, it's halfway over! I should have written before the trip, when I was really really excited. Now it's Thursday, and I've been here for 4.5 days and have only 2.5 more. And I'm still only in Ohio (in the story, I mean)! Put another way, my biography of Ben Legg has taken him to the age of about 12 months.

Ben Legg, circa 1907
Although, in my own defense, I have been working on Robert Legg for the past 40 years (in the story, I mean). And it's not that I've been slacking. The first day and a half felt really unfocused. I ended up constructing a timeline, which I half-assedly started early in the research project. Working on it felt all scattery, because I was hopping from source to source and person to person, and I felt guilty because I'd promised myself NO RESEARCH, but a complete timeline seems like a necessary tool. Even if I'm not telling the entire story in strict order, it really helps to know, at a glance, when everything happened. I also figured out when everyone immigrated, and where they were living when. And I did a ton of property research, which was required in order to finish the Ohio chapter. And I collected new information and figured new stuff out and was able to round out the story.

 Tuesday I worked on the intro and start working on the England section. Wednesday I finished England and started on Ohio. Today I'm wrapping up Ohio and starting on Issaquah. I think Ohio was one of the least-gelled chapters, so maybe things will get easier? It feels like it's going soooooo sloooooooooowly. Writing is haaaaaaaaaaaaard. Waaaa!

I thought I was going to leave here with a completed draft. Ha! Part of it is my own fault for having ridiculous expectations of myself. I was going to finish reading ALL THE BOOKS! I was going to finish taking ALL THE NOTES! And I was going to finish writing ALL THE CHAPTERS! And, ahem, I've spent the last couple months thinking, "Aw, I'm not going to work on Ben tonight, I'm going to play Peggle! I will work on Ben at my retreat!"

 Although I am not quite living up to my own expectations, I love the place. It's perfect. Well, except for the composting toilet. I'm not in love with that. And the shower situation is a little rustic. But otherwise, it's bright and comfortable and minimal. I will take pictures before I go.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

oooh! it sounds like you're making great progress to me... :) yay for writer's retreats! boo for composting toilets! yay for cute writing inspiration!