In January of this year I went on my first Writer's Retreat at Gilchrist. I heard so much about these weekend trips from other members and always wanted to go. When the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance.
But after signing up and agreeing to go, I began to doubt. I was told Writer's Retreats were for serious writers who locked themselves up in a cabin, away from everything, and wrote all day long. I heard stories about books being finished, edits being completed, and wonderful new stories beginning. What if I wasn't able to accomplish anything? What if I went up there and couldn't write? Would it be a waste to go up there and get nothing done?
At the end of December my husband lost his job, and two days after that I went into emergency surgery. I was going to be off work for at least a month and who knew how long my husband would be. Because of this I didn't have the extra money to go. I told myself it was fine, there would be others and I wasn't even sure I'd get anything done anyway.
The other members wouldn't have it. They made sure that I was able to go, and let me tell you... I am glad that I did.
Sure, there were times that I didn't feel like writing, I wanted to go for a walk, talk to other members about our stories and our goals. There were times I just enjoyed looking out my windows at nature. But I wrote. Peaceful hours of nothing else needing to get done. No children to tend to, no laundry or vacuuming to do. Just me and my characters.
I know everyone's experiences at the retreat are different. Some people used it as a time to plot, others to write, some to edit, and some just as a release from the stress of life. Of the nine of us that went, I think all of us did some level of writing or editing.
Now it's July, and the second retreat of the year is next week. Once more I am nervous. I have been on a bit of a dry spell and haven't done a lot of writing in the last several weeks. What if I won't able to accomplish anything? What if I go up there and can't write? Would it be a waste to go up there and get nothing done?
As a writer, you never know when the time might hit. If I go up there and finish editing on my novel. Perfect. If I go up there and write fifty chapters of the new novel. Amazing. If I go up there and relax and just think about the stories and were they need to go. Super. This time is different for everyone, and there is no wrong way to do it.
Want to learn more about Gilchrist? Visit their website here.
Want to learn how to become a member so you too can join us on our Writer's Retreats? Come join our meeting this Friday, June 20th at Baker College in Flint - 7 pm to 10 pm. We'd love to have you.
For more information on Flint Area Writers' visit our website: www.flintareawriters.org