Finding My Inner Author: My Experience at a Tom Bird Retreat-Epilogue
I brought you along on my journey to find my inner author at a Tom Bird Write Your Book in 5 Days Retreat in Sedona, AZ. You’ve read about my initial struggles as I searched for my “writer” and my jubilation when I found my novel. I’m home now and integrating what I learned from Tom into my daily life. For those of you who are wondering, I did not finish my novel. Let me add though, that I was one of five people out of thirty-five who did not finish.
The term “novel” is a loose concept at Tom’s retreats. His intent is to help us change the way we connect with our writing. One person’s “novel” might be a 90 page pamphlet on personal finance, another’s might be a 300 page book on dealing with grief. What matters is the connection to your soul when you are writing, not the length of the work.
Opening this connection to the soul or heart can cause some participants to go through difficult experiences as the gunk standing in their way comes to the surface. The blockage can be a traumatic experience that seems completely unrelated or a self belief deep down inside that you are undeserving of success. Other people, like the lady who lost her entire manuscript, have lessons to learn about trust. That woman learned that the book was truly inside of her and could not be lost. She found the courage to begin again and finished a novel with 52,000 words.
Whatever your gunk is, Tom will help you through it—he will pull that novel out of you and the gunk along with it! Perhaps it is better that my experience was not as smooth as I’d hoped so that, should you attend one of Tom’s retreats and begin to have a bumpy journey, you will know that it is somewhat expected. My gunk came out in a very physical way; if it hadn’t been for Lori Zeltwanger at Advanced Release Therapy I don’t know what I would have done. She kept me going when I was certain I was falling apart. If you are ever anywhere near Sedona I highly recommend a visit with Lori.
Would I do it again?
What did I bring back with me?
A new connection to my author within and a new set of priorities. I used to begin every day by grabbing a cup of tea and turning on my email. I now sit quietly and work on my book before I do anything else. There is no email so important that it can’t wait 15 or 20 minutes. That is the promise I made to myself—15 minutes or 500 words minimum. With the technique learned at Tom’s retreat the writing just flows!
I also returned home slightly transformed and, since my family did not take this journey with me there, is an adjustment period. That is okay though, I prefer the new me--the challenge is holding on to the glow when others would rather you dim the lights. For this reason I suggest that if you are in a relationship, encourage your partner to sit in on the preparatory webinars with you before you attend the retreat. Even better—have them take the course with you!
Who would benefit from this workshop?
- Anyone stuck in writer’s block or those with no time to finish project
- Someone who wants to write a memoir but doesn’t know how or what to include
- If you are emotionally closed down or find your characters are flat
- This would also be a great gift idea for a college student.
Learn more about Tom’s retreat in my upcoming review for WOW-Women On Writing.
Use these links to read the previous posts in this series.