Virgina Woolf was right: having a room of one's own is essential for writers. Now I'm lucky enough to have a big ole attic in my home, that I only have to share with my outrageous book collection and the occasional laundry. But what Virginia didn't mention is the pure unadulterated bliss of having a room of one's own in a place like Annaghmakerrig.
Get out of the funk... Writing retreats are a blessing. They take me out of the daily funk of working and worrying where the hell I'm gonna squeeze in some writing time (#unfinishedsprints). They present me with the possibility to focus just on my work. In Annaghmakerrig it's quiet, peaceful and green. It offers a view of a lake, ominous skies and hidden fairy places. Most of all it provides the perfect mix of solitude and social interaction with likeminded people. There are artist friend and also, if you like 'em, animal friends, including a little dog that will walk with you and a couple of donkeys that'll let you pet them for some apples.
.... and into the groove So with my schedule devoid of anything other than dinner and the occiasional walk, I have my days all to myself and what happens (even more than usual) is that I become a creature of extreme habit (in this I find myself in the good company of Immanuel Kant). I will get up, have breakfast and be at work, every day around the same time. I will have lunch and an afternoon walk, fiddle about a bit more and then dinner. Thankfully there are always other artists to break the spell. Or a hurricane-downgraded-to-storm (hello, Lorenzo) to chase you into a morning walk ;-)
Final countdown (?) Boring as my routine may be (and not good for my self image as rebellious writer) it does work. In my one Irish week I got roughly 3 weeks (perhaps a month's) worth of work done. So much that my goal of finished the third draft by the end of the year seems to have become achievable again, never mind the summer-funk. So my objective for the last quarter is: Finish the damn thing. And one of the key results, paring down the total amount of words with at least 9k already achieve (pray that I don't feel the need to add more words).