My Yearly Literary Pilgrimage

As a working writer, the journey to bringing into fruition the creative works that percolate in my mind includes taking critical times of the year for my writing to become the main focus. Most of my life revolves around the need to create revenue, bring in income, to sustain my existence on this planet. Additionally, as I am building my publishing company, it requires a significant amount of time and attention.

Thus, the portions of the year in which I take time out from these needs to put my writing life front and center are precious to me. The January weekend intensive is the first springboard for my writing year, and it builds the foundation to what will be the focal point for the big push month — June.

In between, I give myself the space to focus on writing once a month with my Write Now intensive weekends, the February 10-Day Bootcamp, and the April Nanowrimo camp, but all through these months, the other needs hold priority.

June is the month when everything else is moved to a back burner, and writing is pulled forward into center stage. The Boulder Colorado Writing Retreat hosted by Max Regan is the month long portion of my year where I become fully a writer. While some of the writing work goes on throughout, it is in this month that my space reshapes to give me the tools for taking my writing to the next stage.

Discovery and Design work intermingle, my wall space is covered in the pieces that help me move my project forward, and the work of digging in and writing takes priority. The retreat is broken up into two sessions. When I first started attending, I could only do one session — a ten day push. The retreat was in person and travel and stay in Boulder made the expense impossible to sustain for a whole month.

COVID brought the option to marathon across both sessions by making the retreat virtual. For the expense of a single session with physical stay, I could do both sessions. This unexpected blessing of a devastating pandemic situation has brought my year as a literary pilgrim to an amazing point. A month of being and living as a writer has been made possible, and I have embraced it fully.

As the year passes on, the writing continues with the July 10-day bootcamp and Nanowrimo camp, the ongoing monthly Write Now intensives weekends and the October bootcamp. Then we come to November.

Nanowrimo in November allows me to make that month another great push for writing, yet, because we are mid-fall semester, it is impossible to take the whole month off as I do in June. Teaching must go on and I’m usually deep into the release schedule of our fall lineup with Inklings Publishing.

So it is in June, during the Boulder writing retreat, that I get to be a writer full time. For one beautiful month, everything else goes on hold. I get to live and breathe writing in June.

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