Posted by: jeannineatkins | July 19, 2011

Writing Retreat

I’m lucky to like my home where I have a lot of time to write, but there’s something special about being away for a few days and writing, or occasionally thinking or talking about it, pretty much from when you get up to when you go to bed. Having a lot of quiet to work in makes it easier to look at the whole patterns of your characters. It’s inspiring to see the backs or shoulders of other writers bent over laptops. Or laying out index cards. Which sets me to put questions on the structure of my own work. Or peeking into craft books. Which nudges me to remember their themes. Sneaky, yes? But I hope I lend a bit of energy or concentration, too. 

I shift a few of my bad (procrastinating) habits and hope some will stick, the way I hope when I get home the little dog will be out of his habit of wanting a snack at 4 a. m.. Not likely, but we hope. The day fills with all of writing’s rhythms: one minute you have the great answer, the next you’re not so sure, and the next you sweep from despair to plodding along. As with all writing, every minute isn’t joyful, but when I get stuck, here’s my favorite revision trick. Walk down to the lake. It’s been whispering answers.



  1. Since that is a very similar view to the one Cindy posted yesterday, I am thinking you are together with Kate and Krew.
    Wonderful. I hope your time is incredibly productive.

  2. I love imagining you all there. Glad you’re having such a nice time.

  3. Beautiful.

  4. Thanks for being my wing-man in the “how to work the tire air gage” adventure!

  5. Listening to the whispers of the lake sounds like a wonderful way to get unstuck. And being with other writers is always inspiring. Enjoy your retreat!

  6. Yes, we are a productive and happy group!

  7. Thanks, Jo. Hope book debut day is happy!

  8. Thanks, Becky

  9. Hope those tires stay at the right weight and get you home safely.

  10. Thanks, Lorraine. The lake with mountains in the distance is kind of magical.

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  12. I like that revision trick, Jeannine. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the retreat. Here’s hoping that 4am snacktime is history by now.

  13. Thanks so much, Amy. The retreat was invigorating. Wish I could say the dog was reformed when I got home, but not so lucky there. Hope you’re staying cooler than we are in Mass. And that wonderland is still being found.

  14. You!
    The photograph could be a poem! Glad to hear that you had a productive and invigorating workshop! (And an award recently, I hear through the grapevine?)

  15. Re: You!
    Thanks, Bruce! I’ve just been writing on the backs of some of your gorgeous photo/postcards. Hope we can share some water views before too long. Love to you and Cathy, J

  16. Looks like a beautiful place to sink down into your project. To do it with friends makes it even more special.

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