Friday, June 13, 2008

My Writing Retreat

My crit partner, Christina graciously opened her Lake Hartwell Cabin to us last weekend. This time last week, I was scrambling to get my daughter to Grandma's and be back by the afternoon to meet my other crit partner Dianna to drive together to our weekend of writing, writing, writing!

Let me also mention, I won a critique for my local ACFW chapter. By Monday I was to turn in the first five pages of my WIP. I knew this weekend I would have ample time to work on those pages and have them ready to go come Monday. I hoped I would have more than the five pages accomplished. As a matter of fact, I was sure of it!

It was beautiful at Christina's cabin made me a little homesick for the house I grew up in on Lake Lanier. The water was clear and like a bath to swim in, which I did later in the afternoon. This picture below was taken shortly after sunrise. Unfortunately I didn't capture the beautiful rose hue the sky held when I first woke up. But you can see a little shadow of that pink over the water.

I ran back up to the house, eager to start my full day of writing.

I made coffee. I put my laptop on the screened in porch and prepared to write something marvelous. I read over things I had written. I read over files and files of revisions for the same story. I considered doing a character sketch. I thought about the weather there at Lake Hartwell. I read over some of my CP's work. We brainstormed a little. My CP's got to work writing. I moved from the table to the couch, back to the screened in porch.

The scene below invited me back to the water. My creative senses were dry. It didn't take long to realize this. Perhaps they needed a drink.

I took off down to the water and ended up spending a few hours swimming and sunbathing, trying to think of where to go with my story. My CP's joined me after a while and we went for a boat ride. It was warm and refreshing. When I returned, I briefly sketched four new characters for another story I've been cooking on the back burner in my brain.

My CP's critiqued the first five pages that I intended to send in to the critique I'd won. They agreed that was the revision I should go with. They made some helpful suggestions and I made the changes I agreed with. While Dianna was able to scoot through several of her chapters and get them revised, and Christina plowed through chapter 19 of her rough draft, I twiddled my thumbs, frustrated with myself that I wasn't more productive.

By Monday when the weekend was over and I was back home, I had a creative push work its way through my thick skull. I got seven pages down to five of the first chapter and sent them off to my local chapter for a critique that will take place later this month. Of course the week at work has been insane, jerking any energy I may have for writing completely out of me. But I would like to close in assuring you all that the weekend was not a loss. Not one bit.

The weekend gave me the rest I needed. Christina didn't let me lift a finger. Both she and Dianna gave me the reassurance I needed to keep going. All in all, the weekend reminded me that my passion is for writing and one day it's something I want to be doing full time. It forced me to realize I have to fulfill promises I've made and submit my manuscript. I have to continue to strive to reach my goals, no matter what conflicts are thrown at me.


  1. It looks beautiful, Christy. And I know right where you are. Right where your head is. I struggle with how not to be frustrated if I can't get things on the page. This writing thing is with us all the doesn't go away because it's in our heads.
    So, stay refreshed, enjoy your family and the time and place for you to get the words on paper will happen.

  2. Christy- I'm glad you got those 5 pages finished. Sometimes it's the little milestones we should be marking instead of the BIG ones. So mark down that you met that goal and look at it as a positive accomplishment.

    If it makes you feel any better, I've not really gotten anything done since I've gotten home!! However, I'm starting to be more productive now that I'm getting a little more rested myself this summer. It is amazing how physical stress and tiredness drain your creativity.


  3. It looks like you all had a wonderful time! Sometimes you just need to get away and feed your spirit. Peace. Quiet. Water. Sunshine. Rest.

    In the long run, it may help spur creativity.

    I'm glad to get your pages for the chapter critique. I've printed but haven't looked at them yet. :)