After a lo-o-o-o-ng covid winter and feeling almost as frigid as Narnia’s spell-frozen, snow-covered landscape, I was more than ready to meet with other writers in person. I’m sure anyone reading this post understands the emotional impact after so much isolation. For a community of mostly introverts, we writers yearn to spend hours with, talk nonstop with, and truly connect with other writers.
A few days ago, I was finally able to attend a retreat in-person with my local critique group, Heartland Christian Writers. We spent three days and two nights at Shepherd’s Gate Inn where we were pampered with lavish meals and the luxury of writing for as long as we wanted to.
No cooking, no cleaning, no day job, no errands to run. Ahhh.
We could write new material, revise old material, meditate on what comes next on our writing agenda, or do absolutely nothing, allowing our souls to refresh. The labor of writing could start again once we returned home.
The days naturally fell into thirds: mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Each portion of the day contained in some order: a meal, a writing session, sharing what we’d worked on, and chatting about anything and everything. (Eat, write, shoot the breeze, critique. Then repeat.) The entire experience met or exceeded my expectations. Perfect! Except for the cold and snow outside. In April.
We left the retreat inspired and energized, affirming what
we knew to be true: WE. ARE. WRITERS.
Daily life will get in the way, and our energy will eventually ease into more ho-hum levels.When I slide back to that point again, I’ll be casting about for a new retreat. It won’t have to cost a lot of money, maybe only the price of meals, but I know (for me) a retreat can’t happen at home. Too many distractions.
What has been your experience with a writing retreat? Have you taken yourself to a solitary place, or must you have other writers around? Have you designed a retreat at your home, or invited other writers to join you in your home? I’d love to know how you made it work.
Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She has completed a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister and is currently working on a women’s fiction series.
Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft.
A wife, mother of three, and grandmother to eight, Linda regales the youngest grandchildren with “Nona Stories,” tales of her childhood. Maybe one day those stories will be in picture books!
Where Linda can be found on the web: