Retreat results

Last Wednesday I headed into a writing retreat.  I popped back out into the world Sunday afternoon feeling satisfied with the time I spent with myself, exploring our evolutionary relationship with cities and the reasons for whichI am compelled to do this work.

Strawberry Creek Lodge is in a beautiful setting in aspen parkland – full of the genus populus, after which my company is named.  I love to spend time outside, so I took my tent and set up camp on the edge of a meadow, on a bluff overlooking strawberry creek a hundred feet below.  The view from my tent was impeded by the forest growth crawling up the bank.  Yet despite the visual obstacle, I knew what was on the other side – a beautiful view.

I learned that I need a good night’s sleep in order to be able think and write clearly.  In the end, I spent only two nights in the tent, bookending the summer solstice.  I learned that while I am writing, it is absolutely critical for me to have a good night’s sleep.  Waking up at 4:40 am and working from 5-8am before breakfast and then being so tired to have to sleep until noon is not a recipe for success with my body.  Sleep in split shifts is not helpful. I chose then to sleep in my room in the lodge and make treks out to my tent to think about my writing.

It feels good to just sit and write.   it was a great way to mark the transition into summertime.

My accomplishments:

  1. I completed and submitted my book proposal to New Society Publishers.
  2. I have organized a bit of a ‘plot’ to guide the next series of posts on evolutionary intelligence.  In July, I will introduce the intelligences for the city articulated by Marilyn Hamilton (Integral City).  In September, my blogging time will be consumed by my participation in the Integral City eLaboratory, an online conference.  You can expect many more details on evolutionary intelligences for the city.  Over the course of August, I will tease out the principles and practices that specifically create the conditions for a  social habitat  that allows for us to integrate our economic life with our physical habitat.
  3. A Nest City Manifesto is coming.  As I conclude the first piece of this book that has a hold of me, I am preparing a 30 page ‘report’ to share with readers.  I will share this freely (literally) with readers in the fall of 2012.
  4. I have updated some of the text on my website.  I have some things to keep adjusting, but I have recognized that it may be time for a refresh of the whole thing.  The truth is, I am not sure what needs to be done on this front.  Comments welcome!
  5. I have rearticulated my business plan and how I wish to spend my time – in my personal and work life – in support of writing and exploring our evolutionary relationship with cities.

Thanks for reading – I appreciate this opportunity to share what I am thinking, finding and writing with all of you.

Here are two great blogs that have shaped several decisions over the last few months: Chris Guillebeau’s unconventional strategies for life, work and travel, and Nina Amir’s How to blog a book.  Enjoy!

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