I was hugely pregnant with my second child in August 2016, and two and a half hours in the car sounded like the opposite of fun. But the weekend promised at the end of the trip was enough to make me tumble my swollen body into Haley's car and drive the 92 miles from Boise to McCall, Idaho. It was time for our first writing retreat.
Combine the pesky problem of making time to write and a number of writers who told us they wanted access to a writing community, and Freewrite Nite was born. Now, once a month, our writing group invites writers from all around the Boise area to join us for wine, writing, and maybe even a little whining about writing.
An essay is an attempt. It’s personal. Its being depends solely on the writer’s insights and experience. Readers, as Elizabeth Hardwick reminds us, “consent to watch a mind at work.” While the voice on the page is a construct, it’s the one the writer has offered to share with readers.
Get out of your head. Breathe. Stop looking around for Lululemon gear and stronger bodies than yours—just practice. Stop counting page views or worrying about agents. Just write. Who cares if someone else is better at it than you—they’re probably putting in the time on practicing that you’re spending frivolously on comparison and self-judgment.