I’m looking forward to this weekend, when I’ll be attending the Morning Garden Writers Retreat in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with my friend Marybeth Rua-Larsen, who is currently celebrating the release of her first poetry collection. The retreat is led by poet Jennifer Jean. It will be a welcome chance to take a whole weekend to focus only on writing–part of my resolve for BoNoProMo, a NaNoWriMo alternative introduced by novelist Lisa Borders. While BoNoProMo technically stands for “Boston Novel in Progress Month,” I’m taking it as an invitation to set aside ten hours each week for writing, whether that means short stories, flash fiction, prose poetry, or even something that might be a novel.
Those of us who have taken the pledge are also trying to stay off Facebook for the duration–or at least to limit our time there. Fewer cat videos, more stories!
I’ll admit it–I am not one of those writers who is good at sticking to a schedule. I know there are some writers who swear by the 5 a.m. rule, getting up early to write for an hour before breakfast. Others treat it like a job, clocking in from nine to five. I’m more of a “wait until inspiration strikes” girl, which means that one night I may stay up until 5 a.m. writing, and then I might go a week without writing anything else.
But I’ve noticed that when the opportunity for uninterrupted writing time is put in front of me–as it is during my writing group meetings–inspiration kicks in pretty quickly. So I signed on for the BoNoProMo challenge, and so far it’s worked out pretty well. I’ve been working on a series of connected flash pieces that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and also come up with some new, unexpected stories.
Maybe it’s a spring renewal after a long, hard winter. But I also think that part of it is because of that ten-hours-a-week pledge, because I’ve given myself the time, the permission, to write. And I’m hoping it’s going to last a lot longer than the month of May.
Photo of Morning Garden by January at Poet Mom.