Friday, August 5, 2011

Focus Friday: I Need a Retreat!

My 2-year-old son is a much welcomed distraction!
Does anyone else feel the distraction of summer?  Or am I alone in my whirlwind of "Where does the time go?"

As fall approaches next month (Yes, where I live signs of fall begin to show themselves by the end of September), it's time to plan a writing retreat–or two.

Luckily, I've got a WONDERFUL local critique group of children's writers and one of us has a cabin.  (Side note: If you're not a member of the SCBWI nor have a critique group, I highly recommend joining).

While our group won't be roughing it this September (actually planning to bring several computers, an iPad, and laser printer), we will be bringing our focus, attention, and passion for writing.  And, there will be plenty of outdoor inspiration should I want to begin a new story!

I find that a date on the calendar helps me focus–as well as being away from distractions of home at least once or twice a year.  Planning a retreat gives me an 'official date' for which to polish up manuscripts, comb through lists of potential markets, and draft up rough pitches for query and cover letters.  The more prepared I am for the retreat, the more meaningful critique and feedback I can get from other writers and the more productive weekend I will have.

But...that's not all, folks!

Only four weeks after I return, I'll also attend the SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Retreat.  That's right, a two-fer!  Two retreats back-to-back!  (OK, sales pitch over).  For me, I like to write, revise, and critique in "binges" and two retreat weekends within a month of each other is perfect for focusing and keeping my spirits high through the revision and submission process.

How about you?  Do you plan writing retreats?  Attend conferences or SCBWI chapter events?  Do they help you focus and regain passion?  Thoughts welcomed!


Unknown said...

For right now, my retreats tend to involve taking my laptop somewhere that 1. is not my house and 2. doesn't have wi-fi. I think days like that help me focus on whatever project I've been neglecting. I come home excited to be working on it full-tilt again.

Soon I'll take the retreats that don't just involve leaving the house for a while. For now, though, they'll do.

inluvwithwords said...

Hi Miranda. Enjoy those retreats. They sound wonderful.

A few years back a member of our writing group invited us all to her cabin for a writing retreat. It was wonderful. I did sign up for a writing class in the city next month. So at least I have something on the calendar that I know will reel me in from all of the summer distractions.

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