You Do Need a Writing Retreat
Yes. A thousand times yes.
I went with four women writers who are a complete and total inspiration to me because all of them are actively working on their novels. And let me tell you, these novels are good! I read the first 40 to 70 pages of all of them this past weekend, and I felt like I was reading published books. My group can write, and that inspires me to get back in the seat and create something they can read!
So that's one reason why it is worth it--I am feeling the stirrings of getting back to fiction.
The second thing is that it gave me time to myself to work on that new blog and catch up on some editing. When I'm at home, I want to write, and my daughter is great--she really is. But I also want to spend time with her and she is only 5 years old, so. . .I am distracted and don't get a lot done. At the retreat, we had meals planned out. We all had goals to accomplish, and we all respected each other's time. I mean, it was perfect. And I am almost done with my blog!
One thing we do every year that I think is super important is create a vision board. If you haven't done one of these before, just GOOGLE vision board, and you will come up with all sorts of blog posts on how to make these and why they are important. There's even a vision board app if you would prefer to do this the electronic way. My vision board is currently hanging by my desk, and it is full of what I want my life to look like during the 2016-2017 school year. It's not just writing--although that is part of it. It is also love, parenting, self-esteem, friends and family, hobbies, travel, self-conduct and more. Of course, it also has my word of the year on it-ORGANIZATION.
Anyway, if you have the chance to go on a retreat, go. Make the effort, organize your family, take a day off of work--and go. You will not regret it. If you don't know of any retreats, you can create your own. You don't need to know anyone with a lakehouse--you can have a retreat in a hotel or at someone's house if her family can clear out for a couple days.
You love your friends and your family. But there is NOTHING like spending quality time with other writers to get you inspired and working toward your goals.
Here's to retreating! Cheers!
Margo L. Dill is a writer, editor, and teacher, living in St. Louis, MO. Check out her new blog on parenting and writing here or her editing site here.