• Is it the goal or the game?

               

    Cabin mates Angela, Shirley and Wendy.
                  I was really looking forward to spending my annual week at the Peninsula Writer's Retreat at Glen Lake. Back in 2010 I polished my first novel "Great News Town" here. In subsequent years I wrote several chapters of each of the next two: "One Shoe Off" and "Full Moon Friday." I really needed a week to concentrate on writing my current historical novel, "Crown of Gold."
                 I arrived with a goal to write the next three chapters. Instead I rewrote the first chapter three times.
               And climbed to the top of Alligator Hill to look out over North Manitou and South Manitou islands in the early morning fog.
                And watched a sunset that made the hill look like it was a forest fire.
                And listened as a rumbling team of earth movers gobbled up the old log cabins next door and replaced them with carefully layered gravel and sand and topsoil.
                 I reconnected with writer friends I hadn't talked with in years and met new ones whose enthusiasm and creative ideas warmed my soul.
                 But no, I didn't reach my original goal.
                "My business training tells me to set goals," said cabin mateWendy Schweifler. "But if I go off kayaking or enjoying a good meal it'simportant too. It's part of the process."
                "I spent a whole day trying to create a better narrative arc," reported cabin mate Angela Sweet-Christian. "The next morning I decided it was too forced and went back to the original. I thought I had wasted a day, but I didn't because that work was valuable too."     
                  "I've been slacking on my writing for too long," said our third cabin-mate Shirley Jones."My goal was to become re-impassioned about a book I've been working on.  And, wow, the muse was with me!"
                   Our speaker Mary Ann Samyn told us writing is about revealing the truth in ourselves. That is the ultimate goal, not a certain number of pages or words or chapters.
                    Hmmm... sounds like confession.