Writer’s Retreat: Little Cabin in the Big Woods

Monday, October 19, 2015
This weekend, I drove out to a cabin in the woods in a Missouri state park. Long before I had a book due tomorrow, my group planned this event – Friday mid-afternoon through Sunday noon and nothing but writing. And food. And maybe some walking in the woods.

Why did I take the time to do this when I have a book due tomorrow? Because it is a retreat with my fellow writers and no one holds you accountable better than women who have been there.

At home I’d check e-mail and probably get talked into playing several rounds of Call of Duty with my son. (Yes, I game. Don’t judge!) My husband would no doubt need to know where I left his car keys, what I wanted for dinner, if I had changed my mind about painting the house. We have siding. His interruptions just don’t always make a lot of sense when I’m on deadline.

In the woods with electricity and no WiFi, I did hard copy edits and made one pass through each chapter in my book. The last chapter took a bit more work than the others but that’s quite often the case. I have to work my way through the whole before I know how to wrap things up.

Normally, I am someone who can’t write outside of my office. Public libraries and coffee shops are just too busy. Even when people are quiet, they walk by. When they do, I look up and wonder where they’re wandering. What can I say, I have the attention span of a three year old.

On retreat, we’re all working free from spouses, kids, grandkids and housework. There’s no dog to walk and no laundry to fold. We can’t even get called to the door by a well-meaning neighbor who just needs a minute of our time.

You don’t have to find an organized retreat to benefit from this kind of experience. Locate a state park with cabins and get a few writing friends together. It is amazing what you can get done and still have time for dinner and a glass of wine at the end of the day.

I don’t have another book due for about a month and a half. I wonder if we can get another retreat together in that little time?


Sue is the instructor for our course, Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins on November 9, 2015.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--Can you include the state park, for those followers of yours who live in Missouri?

It sounds like it was a wonderful weekend.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

We had the best time and I rewrote 6 out of 9 chapters.

We stayed in Washington State Park outside of De Soto. https://mostateparks.com/park/washington-state-park

Margo Dill said...

Wish I would have been there! Maybe next time. Glad it was so great. :)

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