DIY Writing Retreat

I was looking around for writing workshops in my area a while ago. I was 36K words into my novel, still in love with my story, but royally stuck. Unfortunately, everything I found was either thousandsof miles or hundreds of dollars beyond my reach.

But then, just when I thought all hope was lost, images of mimosas in the mornings, surrounded by nature all day working on my novel, reaching for one Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Triscuit after another until the entire box was gone and not even caring flashed through my mind. Needless to say, looking for workshops promptly turned into searching for the nearest writing retreat.

Again, I didn’t have much luck finding anything even remotely affordable, or relatively close for that matter.

Then I thought, hey, you have at least one other writer friend… and I bet she has other writer friends… why not put together our own retreat? Where the only distraction would be views like this:

So that’s what I did. I asked my one awesome writer friend (Don’t judge, writers are solitary creatures, you know this.) and she asked a few of her writing friends. When work, families and high school graduations were done being factored in, we had three of us saying, “Yes, please!” for a weekend in the woods with the sole purpose of writing our faces off.

It took us about 60 emails to get there, but long story short, we rented a cabin as equidistant as we could get, divvied up a food list, and voila, we had ourselves a DIY writer’s retreat..

Giant marshmallows in lieu of corks work brilliantly, btw.


It was one of the best weekends ever. I only wrote a little over 2,000 words, but I got so much feedback and thinking and plotting and insight and inspiration… it was everything I had hoped it would be. Besides getting to see my EFF (Electronic Friend Forever) in real life, I made another awesome writer friend.

So basically, I’m saying this DIY writer’s retreat turned out being three days of greatness. I learned so much being able to talk shop face to face. There’s also something to be said about actually seeing how someone reacts to your story. You know, while they are actually sitting at the table across from you and not from out in cyber space. You can see, with your own eyes, if your shit’s got legs or not. It’s humbling, inspiring and just about the best motivator to keep going.

Caution: Pink wine may impede the effective use of index cards.

It took a fair amount of planning, but in the end my dream of mimosas, Triscuits and writing came true. I highly recommend DIY weekend write-ins. And now for some obligatory flower pics…




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