If you read my post about the retreat, then you’ll recall that I received three clear directions for 2020.
I decided to write out the directions from the retreat in Buena Vista, and share them, for a couple reasons. One, by sharing them, I’m more likely to remember what I committed to. Forgetfulness kills many goals. And, two, now that I’ve put them out there, my loyal readers will will keep me accountable. Thank you, Mom and Nana.
1. Make Nate Breakfast.
I tell you what, that boy is just plain giddy when someone makes him breakfast. It’s almost sad to admit, with that in mind, that I never make him breakfast. Well, I’ve made him smoothies a couple times …. I know, it’s bad. He’s in the habit of small breakfasts these days and doesn’t seem to want anything big before work, but maybe that would change if he knew I’d make it for him. The breakfast we had during the retreat in Buena Vista certainly opened my eyes to see how exciting breakfast can be in the comfort of your own home.
To get started, I’m going to focus on making breakfast for him on the weekends. I’ll let you know how it goes! Oh, and don’t tell him. We’ll see if he reads my posts. 😉
2. Make a Daily Writing Routine … and Stick with It!
I love to write. It’s the primary thing that I do for work, and while that can be nice, I would love to do more of my own writing. As many of you know, it’s very different to do something you enjoy for you versus for work. In fact, being a writer for my job makes it challenging to make any time for my own writing. I often find myself tuckered out by the end of the day and completely uninterested in looking at a computer screen or thinking about words in any form. That said, I’ve had some changes in my work schedule, and I absolutely plan to set a writing routine and stick with it.
During the retreat in Buena Vista, I spent some time researching famous authors’ writing routines. It’s very interesting to see the differences in how they work. In one of the articles I read, it outlined C.S. Lewis’s very regimented routine with specific times for tea and reading, and Mark Twain’s, which was simply: “Eat a giant breakfast; Lock himself in his study; Come out for dinner; The end.” Looking at their schedules for writing success helped me come up with a few ideas of my own. That left me with one final, important question: what should I write about?
3. Write What You Love.
While researching, I read an article that listed some writing tips from C.S. Lewis – one of my favorite authors. One of his tips, which may seem obvious, is to write about what you love. In my desire to spend more time doing just that, I began dabbling with old prompts, past stories I’d started, and one of my America, road-trip journals. You know what came of it? Nothing. I felt zero inspiration with these.
What happened to me? I used to love creative writing, making up stories from prompts or just my imagination. Maybe I’m just out of practice. Or, maybe God has a different use for my writing abilities currently. I’ve thought about writing a really saucy, marriage book that would certainly rock the boat in Christian communities; that’s still on the docket for someday (a dangerous word). You’ll have to wait to find out more about that one, or, if you just have to know more, you can send me a private message on Instagram or by email.
All that to say, at that moment on my beautiful weekend retreat in Buena Vista, I had no idea what I would actually spend my time writing about.
Not much use to a writing routine if you have nothing to write about! Thankfully, a couple hours later while hiking from the bed and breakfast to BV’s main street, inspiration struck. If you’d like to see more pictures of the hike and the rest of the Buena Vista trip, check out this album or my Instagram.
On the hike, I chatted with God about what to write about, where to spend my energy and what do I actually love. Sure enough, the answer surrounded me: I love the outdoors! And … travel, mountains, camping, adventures, new places, cute coffee shops, food, music, photography, people, movies and so much more. I’m not ready to commit to the telling of one fictitious or real adventure; I want to share hundreds. Stories that share experiences and enable readers to become acquainted with new people and places. Individuals and locations that they may want to meet in person someday. Oh the thrill of inspiration’s plucky invasion. How it sweeps you away in dreams and lofty goals; I savor the feeling.
In all of this, my recommendation to you, if personal application is necessary, would be to take some time, pray, assess where you are and what you’re doing currently. Put it all in God’s hands and just be. Sit with him. I highly recommend journaling, but that’s my second way of thinking, so whatever works best for you. He may not say anything initially, but if you keep taking your everything to Him, He’ll provide you with directions.
Maybe you should go on a retreat in Buena Vista, too!
However, be ready! Because His direction may look very different than your expectations. You may be wanting a career change, and He just wants you to make breakfast for your husband on Saturdays! It could be anything, but I know it will be beautiful and life-changing, even if it seems mundane. As Oswald Chambers would say: “One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that it is in the everyday things of life that we realize the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ.”