This post will be a little different today. Instead of giving you editorial tidbits, I’m going to talk about an event that’s going to take place this week for myself and my friends. We will all be jumping in our cars and driving 3-4+ hours to reach an incredible place where we will spend the next three and a half days at a writing retreat.
This is a time of fun, getting together with like-minded friends who also happen to be writers – and writing. Lots of writing. Or editing. Or brainstorming. Or outlining. If it has to do with writing, we do it. There are no workshops to attend, no agents or editors to impress, no schedules to adhere to (well, almost none, but I’ll get to that.) It’s just an intense time of writing and is something we look forward to all year. This will be our tenth year of doing this.
When we first started the retreat, it went from Friday evening to Sunday morning. So actually, we only had one full day of writing. It was fun and we got a lot done, but still… one day. That wasn’t much. So we expanded it to now include Thursday to Sunday right before lunch (though most of us do leave right after breakfast because of the distance involved).
Now you may think that two days isn’t much time to get anything done. But you’d be wrong. You’d be surprised how much you can get done when you have nothing else to worry about. We stay in a hotel-like establishment. Our meals are provided for us as well as snacks. For those who need breaks, there are hiking trails (though at least two of our members are no longer permitted on them without a GPS – a story for another day), exercise and activity rooms, and a small museum on site. The only schedules we adhere to are meal times. And we do take some time both Friday and Saturday evenings for a little relaxation and time with each other (but those are optional – if you’re in the middle of an intense scene – keep on writing!).
We go full of excitement and anticipation; we work hard, play harder and return exhausted and brain dead, but usually satisfied with what we accomplished.
So my suggestion to you is… plan your own writing retreat. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as ours. Can you get away for a weekend? Or even just an hour? Yes, you can have a retreat for an hour. You go into your room/office/place of writing – turn off the internet and other distractions and concentrate on nothing but your writing.
You might be surprised what you can get accomplished – even in just an hour.