May 18, 2012

The Awesomeness of a Writing Retreat

A writing retreat conjures up different thoughts from different people. Some would automatically think of a weekend full of sessions and speakers. Some would say it was a weekend at a getaway place with a group of writers, where you brainstorm each others work and write on your WIP. And then some would say it was a time you go off alone to focus on writing - just getting the words on the page.

Well, I just got back from my first writing retreat. I was not alone. I had my writer friend from church, Ava. She  invited me to her river house about an hour away and I said YES! It was the first time I've ever gone away for the purpose of writing and it was the coolest thing ever.

So Monday through Wednesday of this week, Ava and I sat on the front porch of the river house and worked in our Book Buddy. We were both in the beginning stages of our stories and spent time developing plot and characters. What was so cool was that we would sit in silence, working and writing in our workbooks, then one of us would say..."What do you think about this idea?" or  "I'm stuck here. What should I do?" We were able to have quiet time, yet have another person help us out when needed.

Me with my favorite drink and My Book Buddy (I had it printed and bound.)
Ava with her drink and Book Buddy.
I cannot tell you how cool it was to bounce ideas off of someone else. Ava thought of stuff I had not and she was able to tell me if something worked or if it was just plain confusing. It really helped to solidify my plot and make me feel like I could proceed with confidence.

On the last day of our retreat, I was able to start writing. Ahhhh, the sweet thrill of starting a new WIP. There is nothing like it. (well, maybe the sweeter thrill of finishing!) I'm pumped!

Of course we did wind down in the evenings. Ava brought us Snuggies to wear to keep us cozy and comfortable, and we watched Letters to Juliet one night. And I did bring my Kindle to read, but my brain was so tired, I didn't get much read before my eyes would close and I'd snort. (Yeah, I snore some...sigh.) Romance writers should NOT snore. It's just not cool.
Yes, I look like a wizard here.
Ava and her UT Snuggie. Go Longhorns!
I am now a firm believer in The Writing Retreat! Everyone should try to get away for a couple of days and just focus on writing. Yes, we were brain dead at the end of each day, but the jewels we uncovered were worth the brain overload!

So tell me...have you ever been on a writing retreat? What was your experience like? If not, have you ever thought of how you could make that possible?

8 comments:

  1. I've never been but would love too! This looks like so much fun! I have a pink snuggie! ;)

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  2. Oh Sherrinda, I'm so jealous! That sounds absolutely marvelous! I used to have a writer friend nearby. We'd meet for tea and writing while our children played. I was always so pumped after those sessions. Alas, our children grew up and she moved away. I miss those times. Will have to try one of these writing retreats.

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  3. It looks like you had a wonderful time!

    I love that you blogged about this today because I'm on a writer's retreat this very weekend. Mary Connealy and I are spending the weekend at a fellow ACFWer's lovely B&B and we're writing and editing and talking and more talking. :D

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your reTREAT and I hope you get to go again soon.

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  4. You look like you had a marvelous time! I've never been on a writing retreat, but I long for one. I'm hoping to go to the Storytellers Retreat with MBT in October near Minneapolis - it won't be quite the same as yours, but I'm eager to get with other writers! I don't have anyone close by who writes, so I often feel very alone in this pursuit ~ you are blessed to have Ava. I'm so happy your retreat was productive, relaxing and fun. :)

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  5. You said perfectly. I can't wait to go again! However you forgot to mention the non-stop giggling.Laughter must be a necessary part of the creative process, somehow, because it was such a productive time. With the occasional exception of "Squirrel!" :-)

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    1. How could I forget laughter! Of course!!! lol

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  6. What fun! There's nothing like a writers retreat!! I attended the NCompass retreat in SC back in the fall...amazing!! Then I took a friend (that I met at NCompass) to the mountains and she and I had our own time...so similar to you and Ava. Delightful!

    Love your blog!

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    1. Hi Kristi! I would LOVE to go to the mountains sometime for a writing retreat! Talk about being inspired! Thanks for stopping by!

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