July 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm 1 comment

In life we all have a balloon pricked at one time or another. Recently a much prized balloon of mine was burst with a gentle prick, yet, because of its value to me I was cast into a spiral among the nine circles of hell. Well, it felt that way at least.

The good thing about a pricked balloon is the shock factor. I was forced to deal with grounded reality rather than floating around in a dream. The reality was that I was not the next Hemingway waiting for imminent fame. I am merely an unknown smart-ass wannabe. With this deflation of the head, I grasped that I needed an attitude change. I had to just be the real me. I had to shift to a more determined gear. I have about 200,000 words written for two projects right now, enough for two books, but now I know I must start over with a new attitude and rework some of that already created stuff into a new piece.

I came to this revelation during an amazing week at a retreat on the shores of Lake Simcoe with a group of talented and nurturing writers. The serenity of the property along with the congeniality of the group provided the ambience for honest self-analysis. It was a special time. I became serene and encouraged. I will simply start over with a new attitude.

All the writers at the retreat had on-going projects and the purpose of this time was to be able to work without distraction for a week and make major headway with their work. Due to my funk, I was the only one not banging the keys all day but that allowed me to get grounded and centered. Towards the end of the week, I became aware that what I was experiencing is essential for each one of us today.

Years ago, when I was a young Turk in the pizza business (yeah, I know – mixed metaphor) I felt over stimulated at times and about twice a year would disappear to a special place and veg out. My special place was Wasaga Beach and I would take a cheap motel room and just be silent for two or three days. During that time all the distractions were gone, crap would settle and solutions to key worries emerged. The same thing happened at the retreat and I suggest this absolutely everyone: get away for some total solitude on a regular basis. I’m not talking about getting away to rip it up with buddies or go shopping but rather being in a place where you can achieve quiet alone time. Time to pass beyond feeling you are wasting time doing nothing: time enough to turn inward and be with yourself (can you stand it?) so the crap can settle. In this day and age it’s essential for our mental health to spend some time on ourselves to become and stay grounded.

Private retreats as well as many convents and monasteries offer anyone very reasonably priced accommodations for this purpose and are perfect places to go. The motel route is another and if you have access to a cabin somewhere you are lucky but the important thing is to get away and be alone with yourself for a period of time. The world will survive without you for a while. Trust me.



© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011


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It’s A Small World After All About Nothing

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dale Long  |  July 14, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I’ve been suffering from the same thing, an internal clattering and inability to focus on one thing so I chose to focus on none.

    I’m glad you have decided to just be you and write the way you want and not how you think you should write. Can’t please all the people all the time.

    Thrilled, actually.

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