Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Writing Retreat

This spring I came to my beloved Writing Group with a plan. I wanted a Summer Writing Retreat.
My thought process was something like:

Ooh, it's going to be amazing! There will be time to work all the kinks out of my manuscript and interact with some of my favorite people! 

Can you tell I've never been to one of these before?

Sometimes it's best to create your own plan instead of following someone's tried and true method. (Plus tried and true sounds boring, while my plan centered around writing, playing, good food, a bit of shopping, and laughter. Lots of laughter.)

So, the ladies and I reserved a hotel near Park City, UT and began to plan. I'm mid-edit on Book Two and my goal was to make it much closer to the end. And hey, getting in several quiet hours of writing was very productive.
To my way of thinking, there have to be some givens in holding/attending a Writing Retreat:

Come to work. Bring your project(s) and have a personal goal in mind. (In case you're wondering, my goal was to make progress on my WIP and not to make everyone crazy.) If you don't think you can engage that long, have a back up plan like blogging, editing, world building, character development, etc.

Be prepared for distractions. My lovely friend Jo Ann Schneider informed me early on that she'd be bringing earplugs. She knows me way too well...but hey, I was quiet and well-behaved for so long! (For the Chatty Patties like me, bring earbuds so you can block out the other humans in the room you desperately need to chat up. For example, I edited to Glee on Netflix for two days.)

Leave time for fun. This may not seem important when you're on a business trip, but when you hit your goal--whether it's a time goal or a word count--you need to hit the town, hit the restaurant, or hey, hit the sack. I don't know about you, but I need a brain break after a long day of intense focusing.

If the above picture doesn't express how well our weekend went, I don't know what will. We had an amazing time! It may not have been the most productive I've ever been--traveling all over for several weeks takes a toll--but I'm proud of the work I did. It's set me firmly on the path to polishing up Book Two for publishing later this year. And we're already thinking of what we want to do next year.

Bear Lake for Writing Retreat 2017, anyone? Don't forget to pack your swimsuits and be ready for a Raspberry Shake break. Because that's totally happening.
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What are your thoughts? What type of Writing Retreats have you attended? Thanks for dropping by!


  1. I long to attend a writing retreat...I hear so many great and amazing things from my friends that have attended. But, alas, between babies and now surgery it looks like my time is not now! Perhaps your 2017 retreat I can tag along ;)

    1. Our was pretty easy breezy. What I loved was getting out of the norm to write. And it's been enough to set me on the path to finishing my current edit. So that's awesome! And yes, you're totally welcome! (Mostly because I think you're adorable, mama!)

  2. I've never been to a writing retreat...SO jealous! (Unless you count my one-writer 'retreat' to tiny village in the absolute middle of Spain each summer. And that's more of a nothing-else-to-do-while-the-Hub-jumps-off-mountains-so-I-might-as-well-write retreat...)

    1. They're so much fun! I needed something to get my Brian into writing mode and it fully worked. So if "hubster is busy, might as well write in this super cute cozy room" then that works too! But it's fun with friends too!