Last week, I blogged about going on a writers’ retreat with friends. We rented a house in the Finger Lakes and piled in with our usual supplies: plenty of wine, coffee and chocolate. We worked, we hiked, we drank wine, we talked and we laughed.
Does it sound idyllic? In many ways it was, but this time I also tackled the biggest challenge I’ve ever brought to a retreat: to finish the book I had to take several years’ break from due to my husband’s stroke and whose ending was still giving me fits.
So my inner writing demons were out in full force, telling me I’d never figure out all the plot snarls. I’ve learned to treat those demons like old friends. I don’t fight them; I just tell them to sit down and relax while I work.
It also helps to switch methods. When I couldn’t write scenes, I brainstormed in a composition notebook, using my favorite blue Pilot G2 gel pen. I went for frequent walks or paced the deck overlooking the lake. Once in a while, I played the piano. After each break, I went back to the story and each time, like a gift, answers came.
So the retreat ended up being like having a beautifully decorated and perfectly equipped delivery room for a difficult birth. With my writing friends as doulas!
Anyway, I’m so glad the story is finally coming together.
Thanks for your support, Riskies and friends!
P.S. I’m running the following giveaway at Goodreads.