What a fantastic time I had this year at my annual writing retreat. Six nights, five full days of writing bliss. Although I was getting a little silly by the end of it and the strangest things were setting me off – such as continuously nodding characters and inappropriate whispering.
Working with someone with the same goals is also really helpful. My writing buddy and I work pretty well together. We can concentrate and write away, shared tools and tips to keep the writing flowing, double checked spelling and pronunciation.
We could laugh together over silly or strange character behaviour, interrupting each other when we need to ask a question, or pour each other a glass of wine. Sharing helps, particularly when you know you can continue the work and encourage each other.
We had a tv but chose not to watch it. We had no internet and no phone service, other than a landline family could call in.
I won’t go over my hours of writing minute by minute, rather I’ll give you an overview of what some dedicated time away from the distractions of life can do. Well, what it did for me and the lasting effects I hope it has.
Over those days and writing, editing and sharing, I achieved a lot:
· I worked through my next book three times. My aim was to ensured the story works (hopefully), all the main plot points were where they were meant to be, that the climax was apprortiate, the characters where who I wanted them to be, and the right amount of questions left the reader hanging for the next book.
· I restructured the messy draft that was book 3 in the series (still messy but in the right order and a lot more work to do).
· Drafted a short story for the Raven’s Dawn launch.
· Played with some other short story ideas.
· Preped the paperback template for Raven's Dawn
· Read one and a half novellas; and one novel – not in that order.
It was a very prodcutive time and I'm really happy with wll that I acheived. I always hope that I can continue the productivity and enthusiasm when I get home again. So far so good.
The only possible drawback from such a retreat is that it reinforced for me how much I want to write; how I could spend my days writing and editing and creating new worlds. And that such a life is still in the distance. At least for one week a year I can be the full time writer I want to be.