Think It’s Too Far To Drive To The Loft? Think Again!

by Kari Allen

This spring, I drove down to South Carolina with my family. It took about 15 hours. Which was still less than the amount of time I spent driving down to the Writers’ Loft for a six-week course that I finished in April.

I have attended a bunch of Saturday workshops and craft chats at the Loft in the past, but I had never committed to a longer course. I always talked myself out if it; it always seemed like it was too much time and effort. Time that I didn’t have or couldn’t allow myself to have. Coming from central New Hampshire, it would mean hours and hours in the car, not to mention arranging childcare and figuring out my family’s schedule. But this past March, I decided to sign up for a multi-week course and gave myself one of the best gifts I could ever have as a writer.

I discovered that my long trips gave me time. Time to listen to podcasts about writing and creativity and children’s literature. The long trip gave me time to process everything that had been discussed during class. It allowed things to sink in and percolate. I wasn’t home in ten minutes to be thrown back into life and laundry.

I could think about my works in progress and apply all the things we talked about in class. I could think about a line (and picture book writers know what I’m talking about) for ten miles, and then ten miles later, finally figure out the perfect place for a comma.

And even though I still don’t know exactly where Sherborn is, because every week Google Maps directed me to the Loft in a different way in hopes of avoiding rush-hour traffic, it was more than worth the trip. My advice to anyone who is on the fence about taking a multi-week course is to plug the Loft into your GPS and navigate your way there. On your way home, take the long route or a wrong turn. Drive an extra mile or two. Give yourself a few more minutes.

When not driving to the Loft, Kari Allen writes picture books and early readers. Before being a stay-at-home mom to two book-loving boys, Kari taught second grade. She works with the National Writing Project in New Hampshire doing staff development for teachers and teaching graduate courses on writing. Every summer, she gets to teach a writing camp to young writers! As member of SCBWI, Kari loves meeting new writing friends at conferences and retreats. She has reviewed books for the Horn Book Guide. A lover of photography, her camera is never too far away. https://www.kariallenwrites.com

4 thoughts on “Think It’s Too Far To Drive To The Loft? Think Again!

  1. I love my drive to The Loft, too. Yes, it’s 45 minutes in normal traffic and 90 minutes during rush hour, but I enjoy using that time to work out plotting issues or just talk to my characters and get to know them better.

    Like

  2. “And even though I still don’t know exactly where Sherborn is, because every week Google Maps directed me to the Loft in a different way in hopes of avoiding rush-hour traffic, ” So true. I’ve driven to the Loft from Cambridge (anywhere from 35 minutes to 90 minutes) at least 30 times. I love the alone time. But left to my own mental devices and without the sweet-talking Google maps lady, I’d never make it off the 90. This was a great read and so true. The Loft is well worth the dive! One writer even drove in weekly from Maine for the Karen Boss 6-week class!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s