I had seen all the pictures from each of the different retreats and I knew I was missing out. I thought I'd miss this one as well, but a room came open and my friends talked me into going. For three weeks I waited for it to come, hoping I'd be able to get my mind to concentrate long to write anything. I'd been so busy editing that I couldn't concentrate on a new book.
The day of the retreat arrived, and I headed up to Heber with five of my friends. I sat in the back, enjoying the scenery as we drove up. It was a beautiful day, promising lots of awesomeness.
In the three days I was there, I managed to write 25,000 words. That was in between chatting, eating, going on walks, classes, and sleeping. Although I managed to write AND sleep at the same time once or twice. Or five times.
If you've never been to a retreat before, I highly recommend it. If life has just gotten crazy and writing isn't happening, this is a great opportunity to get new words written that you wouldn't be able to otherwise.
Here are a few tips:
SNACKS - If you go to the retreat I went to, the food is fantastic and you fill yourself up. But sometime snacks can help your mind calm down and concentrate on your writing. I've heard chocolate helps ... but my personal favorite is popcorn and a drink. Or Cheetos. Okay, we'll leave this portion before I think of more, because I might get hungry.
CLASSES - if classes are offered, take them. I was able to learn more about keywords for marketing, branding yourself, making the most of social media, and a few different brainstorming sessions.
SPRINTS - Take advantage of these to help you get more words out. No matter what your typing speed is, it will help you concentrate on writing and make good progress.
FRIENDS - Make them, love them, keep them forever. I knew many of the writers already, and got to know others. I even found out I was related to one of my good friends. Crazy! I don't know about you, but when I'm with other writers, I feel completely at home. All their quirks, all their fears, all their senses of humor. This is a great time to let your mind relax and be yourself.
PARTICIPATE - Help out where you can, brainstorm with others, help with the meal. Be involved. Especially when you're stuck on a spot in your book. Cleaning or talking can help you break through the block and soon you'll be on your way.
GET COMFY - Like writing your pjs? Dress? Whatever! Relax, bring a blanket, and be ready to write. I personally love music. Normally I love the Piano Guys Pandora station. I tried a couple other music options, but I'm thinking I'll go back to Piano Guys. Headphones are awesome so you can listen to your own music—or even silence—and everyone else can listen to theirs.
I look forward to the next retreat, and I hope to see you there. And, remember, if you fall asleep typing and someone takes a picture, own it.