Every once in a while it’s important as a writer to run away. To escape. To go somewhere by themselves without any distractions.

Why?

To finish a novel that is due any day.

I know of several author friends who have done this and I used to be envious. I used to think it would be wonderful and amazing to just get away, to escape from all of the demands on our time – until I recently did it.

I was stressing out about a deadline that was mere days away and my novel wasn’t quite finished. No, this wasn’t one of those “I’ll take my time writing it until the very end when I realize that I really need to stay off of social media or else.” Rather, I’d written, deleted, re-written, deleted and then had my light-bulb moment of how to fix it…then realize I had only a few weeks left, then days, then hours.

This has probably been the hardest story I’ve ever had to write. Why? I’m not sure. The subject matter maybe – it hit pretty close to home in many ways, the pressure I placed on myself to write a better story than my last…the timing – right after the holidays…it could be any of these reasons, all of them or none of the above even. Regardless – this story destroyed me inside.

With my deadline just days away, I headed to one of my favorite hotel chains and booked two nights there with the sole intention of sitting in my room and writing until I could write no more. And I did that. I left my room a few times for the hotel gold lounge where there was coffee, water and smarties, even went to see my chiropractor (his office was a 15 minute walk away) but other than that – it was room service, cold showers to keep me awake, endless coffee with extra shots of espresso and smarties. Lots of smarties.

The Palliser in Calgary, Alberta is a lovely place to escape and lose oneself in their story. The room was comfortable, the bed amazing, the bathroom a bit small but the desk was exactly what I needed.

The scene that was the hardest to write was written in that hotel room and I will always remember sitting on the bed, tears streaming down my face as I blindly typed. I left my home stressed but came back relaxed. My book was done, I was exhausted, but I met my deadline.

I think that deserves a chocolate cupcake, don’t you?

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