Definition of retreat
1: an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable
2: a place of privacy or safety : REFUGE
3: a period of withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction
If you freelance, like I do, you know it can be feast or famine. This year I’ve been blessed with back-to-back and often overlapping writing projects. I celebrate each one. I’m grateful. Still, constant busy begs for relief, so I planned an early-autumn retreat.
I’m writing this post in the Wisconsin north woods. The screened porch of my getaway cottage sets about twenty feet from the east shore of Fence Lake. From here I listen to the gentle, rhythmic sound of rippling waves mixing with the distant cry of a loon. The late afternoon sun reflects off the water, a path of shimmering mirrors. Life is slow, easy, the definition of “retreat” as I withdraw from what is difficult, dangerous, disagreeable.
Yes, freelancing can be difficult at times, even dangerous when deadlines threaten and ideas don’t come. I become ill-tempered and disagreeable with myself. I doubt my ability to write, to please my clients and to connect with their readers. This sour attitude is all-by-itself dangerous. I’ve met it before and conquered it with prayer and by meditating on what is good and right.
It is good and right knowing when to retreat to a place of privacy, to seek refuge from the every day. To retreat sometimes is key to being a consistently able and reliable writer.
As I sit here resting, I let go of the tangled mass of words left over from months of writing. It is good to leave them here in this peaceful place. It is like casting their remains on the water, a memorial of projects completed, well done, their legacy existing now in print to be read and shared.
Tonight as the sun sets, I will say a prayer of thanks for what was and what is to come. God is good; He always provides. A list of fall/winter writing assignments awaits me at home. I will be ready to embrace them,
refreshed and renewed.
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