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.