Monday, June 25, 2012

Retreat Update: It was a blast

I got home from retreat today and I am sad I am home.  I wish the retreat was still going on and I did not have work tomorrow.  I learned a lot at retreat both about writing and non-writing topics. I tried foods that were new to me, drank a single glass of some sort of alcohol every night. I had great conversations with writers, about writing, helping them through their story and about books we've read.

There was no internet access at the cabin, which meant when we were on the computer we could only write. We had to leave notes in areas where we would otherwise immediately start doing research and distracting us for several hours from our writing.  I got some good feedback on my work, good sound-boarding was accomplished and some general editing.  I went there intending to edit my novels, which I did, not to create new pages, so I can't say exactly how much writing I got done.  But one of the attendees there hit 20,000 words. It's amazing what no internet and several "Power Hours" can accomplish.

A Power Hour, for those who don't know, is basically an hour of writing.  You don't worry about grammar, whether the scene makes sense, or anything other than getting words on the page. It can all be edited later. And some make it a mild competition.  Who can get the most words on a page in an hour? I was editing, so I didn't get as many words written as I otherwise might have when I participated in two of the power hours.  I hit about a thousand words.

This was my first writer's retreat, my first retreat. I wasn't sure exactly what to bring with me to this one so I took the basics and a few other..."I may needs."  Now I have a better idea of what I'll need to take with me for retreat next year.  Here's an example of a few things:

  • A Throw
 I think I would have been a little more comfortable if I'd had a small blanket to throw over my legs or shoulders at different parts of the day. It got chilly in McCall.
  • A small pillow
  • I would have been more comfortable with a small pillow to sit on.  The chairs I sat on--the kitchen table chairs--were hard and would grow uncomfortable after a while. The pillow would also give me a little support when I was trying to go to bed for the night.
  • A Hard copy of my novel(s)
  •   I may not feel the need for a hardcopy at a later time. But since I do everything better on paper--editing, writing, reading, critiquing--I probably should have brought a hard copy with me to help me with my editing.  If I'm focusing on writing, instead of editing, next year I should be fine with just paper and pen.
    These are only a few examples but they are what I would put on the top of the list of wants/needs.

    Thanks to everyone who made the retreat a great experience for me. I look forward to next year's retreat. 

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