Well, I have been enjoying the unrestrained pleasure of my writer’s retreat this past weekend. Every year my local RWA chapter hosts a retreat for members and friends to get together somewhere out in the woods, usually, in a huge house and simply write. This is my fourth retreat and as usual it’s been too short a time.
We switched venues this year, for price considerations, and boy, did we find a gem. It’s right on the water, with all kinds of activities—kayaking, bike riding—which some availed themselves of. There is a fire pit where we made s’mores. Two porches and a lovely breeze and various nooks for writing.
One of our members always does a workshop (in the past we had more than one but most people just wanted to write). This year she did it Wednesday night, the first night, on goal setting—a great way to begin four days of writing. She gave us all a bag of goodies, some items for inspiration (quotes and character profiles), some for fun (tiaras and necklaces), and some for practicality (tissues and chocolate).
My goals were simple, but challenging. I’d just gotten edits for two novellas and I wanted to finish both sets, plus another couple of chapters on new works. The last were secondary goals, in case I got through with the first goal early enough. As of midnight last night, I had accomplished my goal, sent my editor both manuscripts back, including two new sections in one of the works totaling over 3,000 additional words.
I am psyched!
I managed to stay focused, although I took two major breaks: one to see my husband’s band concert on Thursday night and one hour last night to watch the finale of Outlander. (Yes, this marvelous house has Starz!) It was my reward for reaching my goal, although I ended up writing for an hour or so after Outlander to finish up.
All in all, this has been one of the most productive retreats for me personally. I managed to have some fun times with our group members as well as eat some fantastic food, and write like hell for four wonderful days. The worst thing about the retreat is always that it’s too short (even though we added an additional day and came on Wednesday). Perhaps one year we will break bad and stay for a whole week.
And I guarantee, it still wouldn’t be enough. 🙂