Wednesday, September 28

A Little More Conversation

This week I am feeling relaxed and energized, and it has a lot to do with the lack of sleep I got last week and over the weekend. Every September, I head up to Michigan with some writer friends - this year we were 13 strong. We write, plot, brainstorm, laugh, talk over business problems, eat, laugh some more, talk about our families, share funny anecdotes, laugh, we again - because the snack table is never empty! - get way too little sleep and start it all over again. We go to the cabin Thursday - Sunday, and we actually get things done!

That is the view out my window - who wouldn't be rejuvenated with that view?

I look forward to this weekend every year, and I actually start planning for it around July.

For the most part, writing is a very solitary endeavor. I have contact with other writers, my family, and friends through social media. I email with my agent and editor(s) weekly. But the bulk of my days are spent at the keyboard in my home office or living room. There is music in the background, and usually a favorite candle is burning, and my characters are there...but I'm alone.

Conferences? Sure, I attend a few, but the crush of people is a little disconcerting to me - especially until I find my core friends there.

Real life friends? Of course! But, they aren't writers. Most of them have outside-the-home jobs, so they can't fully understand how much I sometimes yearn for company...or the pressure that comes with hitting a deadline when the characters just aren't talking and the words are flowing at the rate of 2 words per hour.

So these four days spent beside a lake in Michigan are very special to me. I can share what is working for me to get words on the page, or can soak up advice on how to plot better or how to pants a section that isn't working because of the plot...

Of course, not all the talk is writing related. We talk about our families, share silly things our kids (or grandkids, in some cases) have done...this year we added a couple of dramatic readings of...well, we won't go there. I will just say I nearly peed my pants at one point - and I was doing the reading.

My friend Shay calls this weekend 'refilling the well', and I truly believe that it is. The thirteen of us refilled our writing wells, we refilled our spiritual wells, and we refilled our friendship wells...and mixed in the middle of all that refilling we brainstormed 24 different books - some will become series, some will be standalone, covered just about every time period - even a time-travel - and learned that writing isn't such a solitary endeavor...sometimes.

Have you ever attended a writer's retreat? If so, what was your favorite part? And, if not, would you go if given the opportunity? Leave a comment below, and I'll pick a couple of winners to receive some swag and a couple of books.

~Kristina

11 comments:

  1. Michigan seems to be the place for that well refilling, doesn't it? Sounds like as glorious time, Kristi!

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    1. it was awesome and envigorating and silly...I loved every minute of it..and I'm missing it already!

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  2. Yes, I have attended writers' retreats and I love them. A group I belonged to used to go on a retreat at least once a year, but after many years the group has kind of fallen apart, and we mainly maintain contact through Facebook now. I especially loved the things you talked about; connecting with other writers and friends. It's really not the same online.

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    1. that tangible connection is so needed, I think, especially when we spend the other 75% of our time with the keyboard... thanks for visiting, Jana!

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  3. How cool that you retreat to Michigan, too! It's a wonderful place for refilling or just getting your head back, isn't it?

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    1. it really is! I think RadioMan, bebe and I need to head to the U-P at some point for an actual vacation!

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  4. I have never had the opportunity but really want one. Lol Everything you described sounds Devine!

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    1. I think we wordwranglers, as a group, need to plot a retreat weekend... :D

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