Has progress on your project slowed to a trickle? Working in fits and starts and stretched too thin to think creatively for a clear stretch of time? Crawling to the finish line on that book draft / thesis / exhibition? Or is your work simply too damn lonely right now? All creative projects need a surge of energy at times.
What is The Surge? The Surge is a four-day intensive at-home 'retreat' with award-winning novelist Charlotte Wood. Over a 20-year writing career, Charlotte has found occasional group retreats with other writers an energising, inspiring way to work. You benefit from the humming energy of others working hard alongside you, as well as the boost of their consolation and encouragement through difficult patches. But leaving home for a retreat can be expensive and difficult to arrange (not to mention a generally horrific prospect for the socially introverted!). Enter the Surge: an intensive at-home retreat.
How does it work? On enrolment (at least two weeks before we start) you'll receive instructions on how to prepare your working space, your materials, your mind and body - and most importantly, your family, household and other people in your life - for your intensive working Surge.
You'll learn about 'tilting the mind' towards the most creative mood state and other strategies for boosting productivity. You'll get access to an online (written) discussion portal where, once the Surge begins, you'll check in with Charlotte and your fellow participants twice each day.
On Surge mornings, between 8 and 9am (AEST) is a brief session for posting your own achievable, specific, inspiring and measurable intention for the day, and put in place clear strategies for overcoming obstacles when you get stuck. Once your day is done, you come back to the forum and post a brief check-in report. There’s a one-hour evening session from 6-7pm where you can discuss difficulties, congratulate yourself and others, ask questions and generally benefit from the cheer-squad-hive-mind of Charlotte and your fellow participants.
At the end of the Surge you’ll have an opportunity to debrief, document what went well for you, what didn't, and how to proceed from here.
That's it! It’s a very simple, but very effective, tool for getting stuff done.
Suitable for: Experienced, self-reliant creative workers accustomed to working alone.
Not suitable for: Absolute beginners, people who dislike groups, or anyone who might find working alone for four consecutive days frightening.