Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Writer's Retreat

This past weekend, I went on my first ever writer's retreat. If you've never done this, I highly recommend it. What a precious, precious time.

I went with my critique group, but if you don't have a group just grab a handful of writers. My family has a cabin (or as we call it, a camphouse) about five hours away. That was our destination, though hotels are good, too. Embassy Suites is a great place. While the rooms cost a little more, you can get six or more people in a room, thus cutting the cost. Plus you have the manager's reception and a great breakfast included. In our case, we all brought food--Lord, have mercy did we bring food--and shared the cooking.

Our first night was spent doing what women tend to do best--we talked. And talked. Or as I prefer to call it, we shared, deepening a bond that we already had. Often times, we found ourselves stopping to pray for those who weren't able to join us, hoping those women found a peace that covered any disappointment over not going.

By the time Saturday morning rolled around, it was time to get to work. The kitchen table was lined with laptops. Honestly, not a lot of writing got done. Imagine trying to write in a sorority house, minus the drama, and you'll have pretty good idea of the atmosphere. However, everyone accomplished something. I can't tell you how cool it was to have so many different perspectives and fortes at my disposal.

Jane, Lynne, and Lena all needed help with openings on their WIPs. Patty was working on a proposal and needed direction. Khristy was developing something new and, reading over her shoulder, we caught a glimpse of a fabulous story unfolding. I was working on a scene I liked, and needed, though I was having a hard time figuring out the goal of the scene. The words for the day seemed to be, "how would you say. . ." or "how should I. . ." or "any suggestions?"

Honestly, the weekend went too fast. Before we knew it, Sunday was upon us and we had to go home, though we drug it out as long as we could. When all was said and done, we decided this was going to be a semi-annual event. A time to fill our creative tanks and better our work. While conferences are great, they're about learning. This was about growing, as a writer and a person.

Our next trip is in October. Any takers?


  1. Next time, I will make it! So glad you all had a great time. Thank you for praying for me.

    You ladies are the best!


  2. That sounds so fun! It's also a very inspiring idea! I can't go (way up in Montana) but I love the thought of all those kindred spirits.

  3. The depth of the bonding was fantastic. As Patty said, we learned so much on a deeper level about everyone and we still love each other.

    And Mindy is a gracious hostess. I pray blessings on her generous heart.

  4. By the way, Angie, the Christmas novella collection I'm in that is coming out in September is set in Montana.

  5. Lena,
    You want any help with Montana facts, I'll be joyously happy to do that:-)

  6. Mindy, I'm so thrilled for you. Yet I'm soooo jealous!! :)

    Our critique group is going away to the beach (thanks to Lindi!) in October, and I'm can't wait!! We did this last year and I accomplished so much. I hope to be starting a new story when we go this Oct.