A week ago, I was sitting in the near-silent writing retreat house at Write On, Door County. It was sunny and the only sound was water dripping off the roof and the occasional passing car. I would edit a chapter–rewriting sentences, adding detail, and squinting in disbelief at some passages–before taking a break to do yoga or read a chapter of someone else’s book for inspiration.
Then, I’d sit back at my desk, and start again.
This continued for 8 days and I’m not sure I could have had a more productive or restful writing retreat.
- My main purpose was to perform developmental edit corrections on a space opera book. My editor had some great feedback and a few ideas of her own to make character motivations more compelling. It took 4 days to fix everything up.
- After that, I moved into a line edit, going back through the entire manuscript to clean it up.
- I also drafted 2 short pieces.
On the last full day of my retreat, Novel Bay Booksellers in Sturgeon Bay welcomed me for a book signing. I had a terrific time meeting new readers and exploring their store. Owners Liz and John have done a great job curating their shelves and I highly recommend a visit.
I’m also grateful to the Peninsula Pulse. It was wonderful to see a regional publication so in tune with its literary community.
Plus, I got to test run a new sequined jacket, so the afternoon was a win all around.
My Biggest Takeaway
Participating in a Write On, Door County retreat was incredibly validating. That first day, just after the director gave me the tour, handed over the keys, and left, I wandered the house, considering the gift given to me.
They gave me a week to write in one of the most beautiful places in Wisconsin. No one was going to ask if my short experimental pieces were any good. No one was going to demand a publication date for my next book. They trusted me as a creator and I was so very moved by that gift.
And, honestly, scared. On day 1, I wondered if I would be able to honor the gift that had been given to me. What if I got writer’s block? What if what I wrote was bad?
And my family. I have only been really alone a handful of times. Driving to the retreat, I wondered if I was strong enough to go without my support system for a week. And if I was doing the right thing leaving my partner with the family responsibilities while I schlepped off to write about space travel and romance.
But those are the thoughts you have when you’re on the precipice of something big. And, as I have since I started this writing journey, I said no to fear and yes to belief in myself and what I have to share with the world.
Thanks for being a part my journey.