- Sit on it for a very long time.
- Consider the fact that this has been in the back of your head for years, and that you’ve been writing for a very long time, but minimize that and get super insecure and think of reasons to back out.
- Start to tell a few close friends what is brewing and feel like you have a clear vision of what you want it to be.
- Start to doubt everything, even your own giftings, and think of reasons to back out.
- Realize, like a true Anglican, that a silent retreat is what will get the creative juices flowing–guaranteed. (Cue all older, wiser people laughing at me)
- Book a weekend at an adorable AirBNB with a working fireplace.
- Grab favorite food from Trader Joe’s.
- Arrive at said AirBNB and wonder if you might be murdered out here in the middle of nowhere.
- Light the fireplace and almost singe off your eyebrows and realize you might just accidentally kill yourself out here in the middle of nowhere.
- Decide that there isn’t enough time for a true silent retreat, because it’d be more like a silent afternoon.
- Pull out your books and journals and GET READY TO PLAN.
- Meander through pages and start to realize that untangling your brain might take about 44 years, so think of reasons to back out.
- Get a headache because you’ve been bad at hydrating and you have a condition where your body can’t retain water and it’s turning into a migraine. (Note: this step is optional, unless by some crazy coincidence you also have diabetes insipidus. And, if you do, be sure to drink water to avoid step 13 all-together because it really will mess up step 14.)
- Try to think of ways to start the blog, but realize that you feel quite ill, so try to just go to bed.
- Get into bed, keep slowly sipping water, watch some This is Us.
- Around midnight, finally get to a proper level of hydration, which gives a sudden burst of new-found energy. Lament to your friend via text that you wish you’d had this burst during the day because #ITISMIDNIGHT
- Wake up at 8 a.m., wander downstairs.
- Again with the journals and the “planning goals.” (Have we learned nothing?)
- Start to feel anxious because you’re a few hours from check-out and NOTHING IS BLOGGED.
- Realize that you came to do things and there’s just no way it’s going to happen the way you thought it would.
- But on the bright side, you have a warm quilt and charcuterie and your hydration game is ON POINT.
- Watch another episode of This is Us.
- Feel annoyed that you came to WRITE A BLOG THAT MAKES SENSE AND THIS KIND OF DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.
- Have a flashback to that time you described “Camping Out” as a place where things ‘weren’t always tidy and wrapped up with a bow.’ and shake your fist at how you had hoped that it was only going to be occasional and not right out the gate.
- Tell the aforementioned friend that you didn’t get any good writing done, but sometimes in life you’re set up for a pinterest win and it’s more like a pinterest fail but that’s just how things go, and these things have to be embraced, too.
- Plus, on the bright side, you have a warm quilt and charcuterie and your hydration game is ON POINT.
And that’s really all I can ask for, and all I can offer. I spend a lot of time with the bump-set-miss. With the deep breath and then a note that’s a little flat. Did I expect to be right where I am? No. Am I good at “making the magic happen?” Not entirely.
Welcome to Camping Out. This mess is just the trip out the door on our way to some kind of adventure! Or maybe, we’ll get to the woods and realize we need to pee. Either way, it doesn’t get much more honest than this. And I can’t think of a better way to start this whole thing than by telling you this:
Sometimes, you go to the perfect place to do something, and nothing magical or profound happens. You’re not alone in that. Don’t overthink it.
Just pack your bags, fold the quilt, look for your car keys for 15 minutes and head back home, knowing that I once did exactly that and I’m still alive.