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Friday, May 2, 2014

Finding My Tribe

Photo by Laura Bear
I recently spent a productive four days at a lovely house on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York state with four talented, fascinating women. We each spent our first day decompressing from a stressful week and it was gratifying to experience and witness the gradual unfolding of peace and inspiration in all of us. Clearly, a retreat was long overdue.

Several of us hold full-time work outside of our writing lives. Although the day job may involve much writing, it is not typically of the creative soul-feeding type. As women with families, it is also unusual to steal un-distracted and uninterrupted time for that type of writing. Even more important was the chance to rekindle creative energy. I think it is safe to say that women in general spend much of our lives tending to the needs of others. Often, we do so willingly, but it drains us. That's what happens when you go with the flow, sometimes you get sucked down the drain.

The cool thing about spending four days with other women who write, is that we all write different stuff, but we could still relate to each other as writers...and people. Turns out we all like good food. And wine. Word play. And taking long walks or vigorous hikes. Or we kayak. We all love nature. We tell the truth. We appreciate beauty--whether it is a "beautiful, sleeping man" (wink wink, Elena) or a beautiful waterfall. The call of a loon on the lake. All of this feeds the muse, whatever that is. My muse is a wily b**ch. A shape-shifter who darts in and out with frustrating inconsistency. But, we all have one. I guarantee it.

Find your tribe. Invite the muse. Celebrate.

Check out the following links for excellent writerly advice, inspiration, and tidbits about literature and food: