“What will you write?”
A simple question, inviting a simple answer. It was a question I heard dozens of times during the last few months of 2010, after friends and colleagues learned of my decision to step down from my full-time job and become a full-time freelance writer.
My answer was never simple. It was, instead, a shopping list of possibility.
Book-length nonfiction. Critical essay. Blog. News coverage. News analysis. Scholarly review. Memoir. Novel. Humor.
I included every possibility but my actual shopping list.
I began 2011 pursuing each possibility and then some. Not surprisingly, reality has been forcing me to make some hard choices — to abandon some of these possibilities, or at least put them aside for awhile.
Next week I will face my toughest choice.
For five straight days, seven hours each day, I will work on one project and one project alone. I’m attending my first writer’s retreat.
I am forcibly imposing self-discipline by writing a sizable check and blocking off a chunk of my calendar. This retreat is happening, so I must make a choice.
I’m still wrestling with what that one project will be. But I know this much. When I arrive for my first day next Monday, and the instructor asks “What will you write?” I will at least have an answer.