I recently was at a writing retreat. Two days to do nothing but write... It was heavenly. It was a productive experience for several reasons:
- We started fresh. I've been to some retreats that begin on Friday evening, and by that time, I'm toast. Nothing much gets accomplished. I'm battling falling asleep while eating the dinner or engaging in the conversation.
This retreat began on Saturday morning, when everyone was alert and refreshed.
- It was unstructured. I know, I know, there are some people who would like little "workshops" or sessions at various times during the day when they go on a retreat. I, however, was looking forward to long spans of time to do nothing but writing and revising and pondering.
So, we formed groups of 3, and each threesome chose a couple of times during the weekend to
get together and respond to each other's writing. Other than that, our time was our own.
- There were goodie bags for everyone. In the bags were chocolate and packets of fig bars and protein bars. Along with the edibles was a note that explained each of the choices. For example, there was a handful of Hershey Nuggets in the bag, and the note said, "Sometimes all we need is a nugget of an idea to get our writing started." For the fig bar, it said, "There are times that you just have to forge ahead with your writing, not giving a flying fig what your inner critic thinks."
Chocolate is always good...
- A wide variety of projects were being worked on, which was inspiring. One teacher at the retreat (they were all teachers) was working on writing some new songs. She even brought her guitar and sang some John Prine and Alison Krauss, along with some of her own compositions. Being serenaded while I wrote was delightful.
Other teachers were working on novels, short stories, poetry--there was even a teacher working
on a synopsis and query letter (me). The synopsis is still a hot mess.The query letter? It's still in
its embryonic stage...
How about you? What do you like to see when you go to a writing retreat?
Sioux Roslawski is a middle school teacher, a wife, a mother, a grammy, a writer and a dog rescuer. In her spare time she knits, reads, and watches sad movies. If you'd like to read more of her stuff, check out her blog.