Friday, April 22, 2011

A Writer's Retreat

Writing can be a lonely process, especially if you don’t count the characters in your head and on the page.   To cure the lonely writer blues, we like to tweet, get together for meetings, conferences, critique groups, and RETREATS!
Last weekend, thirteen ladies from our Carolina Romance Writers group traveled to Lake Lure, NC to be around people that don’t think you’re crazy just because you say things like, “My hero is being difficult about his internal conflict.”  We had workshops, critique groups, free writing time, and LOTS of writer talk.  I’ve heard tale of these writers that are withdrawn and introverted, but I’ve yet to meet many of them.  While some might hang back in a big group, you get them alone, one on one, and it’s a whole other story.   Every one of these ladies was eager and willing to talk about their current project, past experiences, best practices, biggest mistakes, etc. etc. etc.  I learned more invaluable lessons and bits of information in 2 days than I have in the last year!  Everything from how to pitch my book and where to track agents and queries, to what categorizes Steampunk, would a regenerative vampire be circumcised, and how can we make “loose change” a euphemism for… 
Okay, so obviously some of the conversations got derailed, but that’s part of the fun!  I found that even though I was away from home and had the luxury of sleeping in, I couldn’t.  I stayed up late, too giddy with writer talk to go to sleep. I woke up early, too excited at what the new day and surrounding creative minds might bring.
 I left motivated, armed with information, exhausted and totally invigorated.  In the last week I’ve prepared 35 pages for my first contest submission, registered for the Moonlight & Magnolia’s conference, set up Tweet Deck so I can navigate social media more effectively, worked with my design guru friend and finished a business card template, and done more edits.  If this is what a retreat does, I can’t imagine a conference or (gasp!) Nationals.  I might not sleep for days!  What about you - have you escaped with your writer posse?  A girls weekend?  Would it be selfish to do this quarterly? :)


Darcy Drake said...

So that's why you guys hiked down that hill and then crawled back up! For pictures. Though I swear that top balcony was much higher than it looks in this picture. It was Rapunzel-Tower worthy!

I'm the opposite. After a conference or retreat, I feel like I could sleep for days. Hibernation after being around so many other amazingly creative people and learning so much.

Elizabeth Michels said...

It took me 3 days to recover from the writer overload I got at the retreat...and now I'm ready to do it again! What a great time with great friends! Moonlight and Magnolias cannot get here fast enough!

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