Here are some things you might not (but should) know about writer’s retreats:
- Someone (or someones) always forgets something. It is usually a food item. It is usually a food item they committed to bringing for the meal plan for the weekend.
- The Wi-Fi never works perfectly. Never. It is a rule. Apparently.
- Something strange happens at the hotel: the staff asks to use the laundry machines in your cabin for someone else’s sheets; you ask for a basic thing like a chair and it takes a half day (if ever) to arrive; there are never enough wash cloths for three women; a creature of one variety or another pays a call; and so on.
- Non-stop snacking is part of the retreat agenda, albeit unwritten. Clearly writing so long is calorie depleting.
- Meal times are the time for copious amounts of laughter. We had an extreme bonding time at our very first event, a Write-to-Publish conference in Wheaton, IL at the dinner table in the cafeteria. Oh goodness, the laughter. People joined our table to be part of it. It has not diminished since.
- Retreats are by water. Our first retreat was near the Black River in Missouri, the river was not right next to our cottage when we arrived, but it flooded that weekend so, in fact, it was right next to our cottage. Since then it has been The Mississippi, Rend Lake, and Lake O’Fallon. We do not retreat near water intentionally, but I think we do so subconsciously (or on purpose).
And the 7th thing you might not know is:
- Productivity is extraordinarily motivating.
At least it is for us.
It really is embarrassing to see enough food for three armies. But such good times! I’m still on a roll–last chapter to edit!
Oh, how I love writing retreats!! The luxury of having no other responsibility but putting words on a computer screen (and occasionally sharpening our skills by playing Monopoly Deal). Oh, yes, and eating. Next to water. With friends. Good times.