Writer’s Retreat

Can two or more writers sit in a room together and be productive? Does it help or hurt concentration? What are the benefits of having a writer’s retreat? And what exactly is one? 

Spending more than a few days in one place with fellow writers can be rejuvenating. Picture two or more laptops set up around a large table, each writer scrutinizing their WIP. Fingers begin flying over the letters, words begin to form. When one gets stuck with a particular word, description, or plot point, she voices it aloud, and miraculously, one of the others will reply. Fresh ideas and new perspectives put the writer back on track, and the creative flow continues. 

Are there distractions? Absolutely, but they seem to boomerang back to our work. We never stray for long. We support each other, gain insights on alternate views, and focus on what we are trying to say. Endless discussions between flurries of paragraphs make us eager to work longer and harder than when alone. 

We benefit from the camaraderie and the conversation, but while sculpting our own stories, silence fills the air and the energy hums. Snippets of concern pop out and are quickly put to rest with a suggestion that will work. We share tools and knowledge making the process of writing more productive. 

Must everyone write the same genre? No, diversity adds spice to the group and the conversation. What works for one may not work for another, but sharing gives us glimpses of “you are not alone in this alien world we live in” – Being together bumps our imaginations to the next level and we thrive as we create. Who wouldn’t want to benefit from a week or weekend with friends? 

RWA National Conference

Two days after completing Ironman USA in Lake Placid, I flew to Atlanta to attend The RWA National Conference. Four incredible days packed with information, energy, and thousands of other writers, not to mention the bonus of spending the evenings with my son and daughter-in-law. I chose workshops to learn about career, craft, research, and the business of publishing. I attended chats with Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, and Carly Phillips. I was inspired by keynote speakers, Meg Cabot and Christina Dodd, who shared their stories and gave us (unpublished writers) hope that if we are persistent, we might one day see our books on shelves, too.

I met writers at every stage of their career, some just starting out, and others with many completed manascripts behind them. Published and unpublished – all lovely, unique, individuals with a common thread, the love of the written word, the emotions stirred by black & white print. What an amazing community of people.

I came home with ideas buzzing, excitement flowing out of my suitcase, and new friends to keep in touch with. I met with an incredible agent who liked my work and requested a few revisions, which I am busy working on — will she want to represent me? The thrill of ‘maybe’ ripples up my spine as I look at each word I’ve written and try to find a way to polish it to brilliance … Guess that is my cue to get back to work. Until later – Christine.

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