Getting Away (Or, How to Stay Sane as an Artist)

I’ve just returned (unscathed, mind you) from my annual trek into the deep woods with the sole purpose of writing. Over the course of a few days, I worked on both the edits for the 2nd edition of Shadows and wrote several thousand new words in the upcoming horror novel. (I would share the title with you, but since I keep changing it, sharing at this stage in the game would be pointless.) What I will share with you, however, are a few thoughts I had while away. Keep these in mind the next time you choose to disappear into the woods for whatever reason…

  1. A cabin located deep in the woods at night with no cell phone service can be a very lonely place. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Relaxing? Yes. Distraction-free? Yes. Lonesome? Also yes.
  1. A cabin located deep in the woods at night with no cell phone service and the film score to Schindler’s List playing in the background can be a very depressing place. It took only two songs in to realize that. I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you’re a glutton for punishment and choose to ignore my recommendation, just remember to hide all of the sharp objects ahead of time. I’m not even kidding.
  1. The advent of Netflix goes hand in hand with lower word counts. It’s a proven fact. (By me, if by no one else.) Especially with the availability of full seasons of shows for which to binge on. (Did I mention you get lonely sometimes?) This is the first time I’ve had Netflix available to me at the cabin, and The Ranch proved a worthy adversary to writing more than once.
  1. While soaking in a hot tub deep in the woods at night can be a relaxing way to end a long day of writing, just remember to uncheck all horror film scores from your playlists before setting Spotify to ‘shuffle.’ Otherwise, the next scream you hear may be your own.
  1. When the words are flowing freely, so will the time. As with most trips away from home, when you are at your busiest is when time seems to go by so quickly. And in this case, it truly is a double-edged sword.
  1. Microwaved chicken pot pies make a respectable dinner when paired with red wine. (The vino of choice for this trip was Apothic Red.)
  1. And finally, with the world in chaos and life being as busy as it gets, it sometimes becomes necessary to check out for a few days in order to concentrate on being creative. Whether you’re a writer, painter or like to sketch a bit of still life, there are few places more conducive to creativity than the woods, completely isolated from civilization. And let me tell you, with the beauty of the environment, the surrounding wildlife and the fact there’s not a soul around for miles, if you can’t create art in that environment, then brother, you might as well give it up and find a different hobby.

So there you have it. A few thoughts.

Til next time, my friends…

imag0512

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