Writing retreat romantic myth: You will hover somewhat weightlessly, only feeling your gravity when grasping certain important objects like a heavy earthen bowl or a trusty fountain pen. You might gravitate toward quill pens, actually, come to think of it. You will wear only slightly fitted sundresses or asymmetrical skirts that fall upon your bones and your female flesh in a way that reinforces the above laws of physics. You smell great and you breathe deeply. Your attitude is, if you took a picture of it, ripped from the pages of an Anthropologie catalog photo shoot. You plunge into a knowingness and a level of concentration previously only known in small stints when you used to write on your laptop in the closet two apartments ago.
Through solitude, life comes into focus. Everyone understands why you are not returning phone calls and instead send you magic psychic energy tablets to help you battle with the muse. Because what you didn’t realize until now is that tangling with the muse is actually sometimes a war.
This photo is of Marguerite Clark, a silent film actress who lived in the current Latter Library on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. It was her house in the 1920’s.