Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Writing Retreat

For the first time ever I attended a writing retreat. This was an entirely new experience and something I think I'll be reflecting on for a long time.

The retreat began March 2 although most of that day was spent driving up to Washington state. It ended on March 6th, another day spent mostly driving. But in between I wrote. I wrote like I haven't written in a long time, if ever.

My word count for the many days of work wasn't impressive. Only about 4880 words- which is my best estimate. It's actually an average, I hand write so I won't know for sure until it actually gets typed. But for me, that was a big number. For a long time now I've been declining in productivity. At least it seems that way. And maybe I shouldn't be too hard on myself. It's been a year and a half of upheaval and sadness, beginning with the death of my dear pet lovebird Igor, and finally ending when I moved to Oregon in January. (And no the house is not entirely unpacked!)

Doubt has been getting to me. After my Middle Grade novel The Bird Fairies received 98 rejections and never netted me an agent, I have been wondering if I REALLY can be a writer. If I really can succeed. If I can write at all.

But I came home energized. I CAN write. I can put butt in chair and stare down my story for longer than fifteen minutes a day. I can move forward. I can even, if need be, just write crap until something better happens. And of course, I came home writing.


Liane Spicer said...

That's wonderful, Che. I've been to one writing retreat--almost two years ago--and I recommend it highly. There's something about spending several days away from home, days that are devoted to nothing but writing, that works wonders.

Charles Gramlich said...

Would love to do something like this sometime. I can imagine it being both productive and fun

Linda Thorne said...

Glad to hear you're still keeping at it. Writing and succeeding at writing is hard, damn work. You never know when you might hit the right agent or publisher though.