Come to Ireland with us next year and write!

ll 047 Ashford Castle

We are in West Cork Ireland on an absolutely beautiful island. This is the most amazing place we’ve been in Ireland and we are teaching a writing workshop here for a week. They make light lunches for us and amazing Irish dinners with desserts that are just to die for. We hike around the island among the many trees and vines and flowers; therae are boat houses, and vines climb the trees. There are little ponds in the woods, a huge birdcage sitting by a pone among the vines; there is a little town on the water with boats floating out on the bay like jeweled dragonflies. This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, a lush green paradise, thickly overgrown. The vegetable gardens are amazing, the comfrey , asparagus, artichokes, herbs, beans and sweet peas.

Our workshop is going well; the students here like spending their time writing, and that’s great. We have meals together, walk around the grounds and live in the dream of being writers all the time. That is what a writing retreat is all about. We spend our creative energy writing. .

What a writing retreat should allow one to do is to step away from everyday life whatever that life is and let go of thinking about all the stuff that drags us away from our creative work. To focus on creative and intellectual work requires harnessing the life of the mind. If the life of the mind always dwells in business, in work, in answering every email, answering every phone call, then there is no time or energy for creative work.

It is good to be here in Ireland. We are watching how the gardens grow, we visit the ponies, we climb over the fence and visit the sheep, and amid all of it, stories, ideas simmer quietly and we can feel the magical life of thinking come alive.

As writers here we are working on the questions all writers must ask: When do I write best? What time of day? What tools do I need to write? What room do I need to be in to write? What quiet? What noise? Can you write with others present? What does it take to quiet the mind? How do you find a way to get your work edited? How do you find a way to build a writing community? Someone who can read your work and help you bring it out into the world fully polished. What is the audience for your work? Do you want anyone to read your work? Are you writing for the page or this simply spoken word performance? Being a writer requires knowing how to pour oneself into a particular activity whether anyone cares or not. But here in Ireland, writing is who we are.

Published in: on June 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kate, I would really like to take part next year. How can I be sure to get the info and not miss it?

  2. Kate , I do`nt know what to say .This is exactly why i cried last night . no one to edit all my work. This is what i wrote today.Communication is the greatest weapon most people have over others. They know it, and I know it. Sometimes I wish I can coordinate a whole community, but how do you build that community and that has always been my problem. We are black people with no community and it is very hard. Then If you can get this very well, you can make sense of why I get tired sometimes.

  3. The only way I can come to Ireland is if i win a grant. I have four children, how can I abandon them to go and write.I will love to move out to see my writing develop. But how ?

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