I’ve been busy preparing for a writers’ retreat this weekend, preparing leftover meals for the family, baking my go-to oatmeal cookies (taking half, leaving half with the family to keep them in charity with me), getting a new laptop to replace the one that died a few years ago (my multi-draft writing takes a toll on technology), and generally getting psyched.

My friends and I have been doing these retreats for years and our formula is pretty fool-proof: a house on Cayuga Lake, laptops, notes, food, wine and chocolate. We write a lot during the day and in the evenings, we chat and watch romantic films.

I always come out with fresh ideas and often a big jump in the wordcount for my mess-in-progress. However, I learned during the earlier retreats that success doesn’t come from pushing too hard. It’s a good idea to think about goals beforehand, but once there, I just trust the process and let myself enjoy it.  I won’t check wordcount or the clock, or check if I’m on track.  I just enjoy my friends, the lake and the story, wherever it goes.  If I get stuck and the writing ceases to be fun, I switch gears. I go for a walk, I paddle on the lake, I meditate. If one of my friends isn’t busy, we may brainstorm. Or I might even take a nap! I go with the flow and something always works.

Friends of mine are going to the New England Chapter conference this weekend. I hope they have a wonderful, inspiring time.  It’s a conference I’ve enjoyed in the past but right now, getting my balloonist story finished is top priority.  As with retreats, I think it’s good to have goals for a conference. It’s also good to totally forget about them and be open to surprises.
Do you have anything fun and/or productive planned for this weekend?  How do you get yourself psyched for success?

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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