Posted by : Halima Khait Monday, November 16, 2015

The older I get, the harder it seems to do something that once came so naturally to me - writing.  It's not that I've lost the passion. On the contrary, I've never been able to say I am a writer with more confidence than I do now. What it is, is that life got harder. And because I write on a very personal, emotional level, the topics I am exploring and writing about have gotten tougher.

A couple of months ago, I recognized this as writer's block and set out to learn how to counteract it. I thought the answer was a writing retreat, a space where I could sit in nature and have all my basic needs cared for by someone else, leaving me free to do nothing but write. So, I found one in Costa Rica, a place I've wanted to visit for the better part of a decade, and set out to learn more about myself as a writer.

One of many important lessons I learned while on the retreat is that, while I have a very distinct, poet voice in much of my more formal writing, it sometimes allows me to lightly touch on sensitive topics while hiding behind the emotions they evoke rather than exploring them in depth.  I've received feedback in the past that alluded to this, but it always came out as "give more details," so I never really grasped the meaning.

But something about knowing I had to sit in front of the other women on the writing retreat, read my work and have them truly understand it, made me step outside of my comfort zone and dig up to my elbows in the gritty side of human nature.  The above picture shows me reading something I wrote, out loud to other people for the first time in my life. The ladies were all incredibly supportive and I walked away feeling accomplished.

I apologize for rushing through this post, but I have been attempting to maintain some of the feeling I felt the night I presented my work. Trying to maintain the creative energy and discipline for writing that I achieved over the course of the retreat. Part of that attempt is revamping this blog, but more importantly, I'm trying to write for myself for anywhere from 10-60 minutes a day. I've been writing all day today, so I'm exhausted, but I still felt it was important post today, the beginning of the first full week I've been home from the retreat.   If you want to read more about my experience in Costa Rica, visit my travel blog.

Until next time...

~ With ♥ from Halima

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