Today I thought I’d share with you about writing retreats. They come in all shapes and forms. More formal retreats are at hotels or retreat centers. For the retreat I went to earlier this month, we rented an AirBnB and split the cost (which ended up being about $80 for two nights–a real deal).
So what do you do at a writing retreat: You write! Seriously, we spend from Friday afternoon until Sunday noon writing. I was able to write over 10,000 words in a weekend–usually that’s 2 weeks work for me. I’m pretty disciplined at home, but there are still a lot of distractions there: dogs to be fed, cats to be loved on, dishes and floors and laundry. Plus my husband is at home, and I like talking to him! At a retreat though, all I have are other writers focused on their work.
During this retreat, we had a birthday girl, so we enjoyed mini bundt cakes. Aren’t they gorgeous? The weather was cold and dreary, which also was a good thing as it kept us inside writing. We all wake up and go to bed at different times…so you might find someone writing at 5:30 in the morning or at 11:00 at night.
Retreats are about having focused writing time, but they’re also about socializing with other authors. We usually pause for meals at the same time, and that’s when we talk. We talk about writing, about plot problems, about marketing (what works and what doesn’t), and about our goals. We encourage one another, offer suggestions when appropriate, and laugh at mishaps. It’s good to be around other people who are passionate about what you’re passionate about.
Generally this small group of writers has a retreat 2 to 3 times a year. It’s low-key, like this one, but it’s always a special and fruitful time. Writers in this group all write “clean” or “Christian” fiction. You might want to check them out! Bruce Hammack writes police procedurals. His wife, Joyce, handles his marketing. Teresa Lynn has some awesome biographical fiction. Kayla Marnach writes very special books for children who are dealing with tough situations. Wendi Threlkeld has her first teen/ya book out. Brenda O’Bannion writes Christian historical fiction. Amy Rognlie writes Christian cozy mysreries. And Lori DeJong is currently working on her first novel. You can follow her on Facebook here.
As you can see, we all write in very different genres, but we still support and help one another. That’s the great thing about friends and retreats and community. So what about you? Have you ever been on a retreat (quilting, scrapbooking, outdoorsy stuff)? Have you ever wanted to go on one? Comment below, and I’ll draw some winners for free books.