Last month I took my very first solo weekend writing retreat. The beautiful Hotel Finial in Anniston was the perfect place to get inspired as I set out to start writing the book I hope to publish this year.
But perhaps I was too inspired.
I spent several hours my first evening at Hotel Finial wrestling with my muse like Jacob tussling with an angel. I picked up my phone to tweet 140 characters or less lamenting the irony of having writer’s block when you’re on a writing vacation, but then I realized that lack of inspiration was hardly my problem. I realized I had too many ideas, too many thoughts, and I couldn’t pluck any prose from all that noise.
No, I hadn’t gone on my writing retreat empty handed. I had a complete outline saved in my Google Drive. But I had another outline for another book scribbled in one of my journals. And I simply couldn’t choose.
So I took a break to listen to Jeff Goins’ podcast The Portfolio Life. I listened to an interview with artist Steph Halligan on how to navigate the intersection of art and entrepreneurship. I realized this was what was causing the Royal Rumble going on in my head.
During my frustration I exclaimed to the air in my hotel suite that I wished I could live a life in which I could do nothing but write and never worry about business or branding or marketing.
But this was a lie.
In the interview Goins shared he once made a similar claim then realized, “That would be hell!”
And he’s right!
I don’t want to sit home all day, every day behind my laptop lost in thought. I love being around other people. I love networking. I love brainstorming email and social media marketing strategy. I love the business side of writing. But for so long I’ve felt guilty for that. For so long I’ve felt that this made me less of a writer, less of an artist. But I’ve finally realized this isn’t true.
I want to write a book of thought-provoking personal essays on intersectional feminism. But I also want to give the women of my tribe a how-to manual for building wealth with their words. I want to write a memoir. I want to write a manifesto. I want to write a book that makes a difference and a book that makes money. And that’s OK.
In the interview Goins and Halligan concluded that we creatives must simply wear different hats as needed. Some days we need to wear our artist hat and get in a quiet space to create. Other days we need to put on our entrepreneur hats so we can market our masterpieces. And so, I will write a book that shows women who write how to do both.