Writers' Retreats Rule!

Monday, August 15, 2011
I just spent the entire weekend in a lake house with nine other authors, having the time of my life. My ribs still hurt from laughing so much. Here are just a couple reason why I recommend every writer attend a writing retreat:

10. Rejuvenation. No one knows how to pump you up and get you eager to write like another author, or in this case, nine other authors. But it seems to work in every area of your life as well, not just in fiction land. I feel completely refreshed, inside and out, after a vacation like this.

9. Food. OMG, I don't think I'll have to eat again for another month!

8. Support. In open critique time, not only do you get lots of advice and great ideas to help you improve your own WIP, but hearing other stories and the responses for their chapters also helps you on your own WIP.

7. Prizes. Holy guacomole, I never came away from anything with so much wonderful loot. I swear, I went home with ten new books, a totally awesome tote, cups, and so much more. My favorite was the ceramic coaster that reads, "Not Now. My muse is kicking ass."

6. Camaraderie. You can't truly get to know your co-writing group members until you've spent enough days and nights together to discover Vagisil also helps soothe itchiness under the armpits.

5. The ideas. From tarot-card readings to intense brainstorming sessions, you learn just how much help your friends can be when you need their ideas with problems in your story.

4. TBR List. I now have an overflowing pile of stories on my must-read list. And most of them are my group members' amazing tales. Honestly, if they don't finish their WIPs soon so I can read the rest of their story, I may go postal. Just saying.

3. Rest. Wait, That one's wrong. By two or four in the morning, the motto is more along the lines of "Sleep. We don't need no freaking sleep." Though it helps when someone actually knows how to work the coffee maker!

2. The stories. And some are true stories at that. Seriously though, where else can you go to hear how lighting farts can lead to never having to landscape certain areas of your anatomy again, though it'll also land you in the emergency room.

1. Love. For someone who's in love with romance and happily ever afters, I have to say getting to know Candy, Alfie, De Ann, Gwen, Paula, Kim, Erin, and Sunny as well as I did in two days is what made the retreat as special as it was. I so love you guys, thanks for your kindness, your help, and most of all your friendship.

And now that I'm all weepy and ready for next year's retreat, I think I'll go work on that story I'm pumped to finish.

What is your favorite part of getting together with other authors?


  1. #10, 8, 6,5, 2, and 1:) I see my group once a week for 2-3 hours and they are very supportive when I'm editing!

  2. Sounds wonderful. I can't wait for my meetings to start again next month!!

  3. Am soooo jealous~ sigh. I want to go too!! LOL I love you all and wish I weren't so far away. Candy's lake house is THE BEST for relaxing.

    Glad you had a wonderful time. Now go write! :)

  4. You're so lucky to be able to see your group so often, Molly. That's great.

    And, oh, it was wonderful, MRD! I wanna go back already.

    Nancy, you were definitely missed. Stories about you at the lake house are like legends!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all! Apart from my great local writing group colleagues, I go to the annual Scottish Association of Writers weekend conference each March. Absolutely wonderful to spend time with writers from all over Scotland and I come back hugely inspired each time. Wish I could bottle the inspiration!

    It must be even better to have a smaller, more intimate get together like yours.

  6. Exactly what you listed are all my favorite parts. Except maybe the Vagisil. That one was new :)

  7. Oh my goodness, I'm so jealous! I love talking books, writing, industry, etc. lol I'm glad you got to go. ;-)