Yes, I am late again. Sigh.
I've been busy with the writing stuff. I just finished the last big edit of a novel (In the Shadow of Giants) and just have to wait back on stuff from the editor. This is going to be my first release for 2015. It's been difficult work, but I love the story.
Which brings me to the subject of this month . . . The Perfect Writing Retreat.
I would have a problem with something like this. I really would, and not because I can't write away from home. I can write anywhere and at any time. The idea of a retreat appeals to me for a change in scenery more than for a place to get work done.
And that's the problem. I'd have to take my cameras. I don't care where the retreat was -- mountains, desert, middle of the city -- there would be new photo opportunities, and I'd spend more time doing pictures than I would be writing. Not take the cameras? I'd be miserable because those opportunities would still be out there and now I could do nothing about it.
For the record -- I'd vote for mountains with lots of scenic views.
Would there be others there as well? I'm not really big into the 'read your piece and we'll tear it apart' stuff. I'd rather have critiques on line because I do have bad emotional responses sometimes to perfectly legitimate things and on line puts a bit of a barrier between things. I would think that the retreat would have to be genre-based for it to be helpful as a writing-improvement gathering.
On the other hand, I've known a couple different people who have booked rooms at local hotels for a weekend when deadlines were looming and they simply needed to get the writing done. That always sounded like fun to me, but since I'm not on a traditional path any more, deadlines are a lot more fluid for me.
Besides, I average about 3k a day anyway, so I don't think I truly need to write more.
Okay, then how about people to gather around the fire at night and discuss writing (but not THE writing)? Yeah, that wouldn't be too bad. I've nothing against people, as long as they're writers. Non-writers are sometimes difficult to deal with because they don't quite understand why I find the odd rock their son found far more interesting than the discussion on window dressings. (Clearly, they have never been in my house.)
I suspect I am simply not the writing-retreat kind of person, though on several occasions I've pointed to old motels in small Nebraska towns and said that would be a perfect place to buy for an on-going retreat. Middle of Nebraska? Am I crazy?
No. Small town with limited distractions: That's what most of the writers I know need. A place where there is simply nothing else going on would be perfect to really settle in and write. A motel so each person had their own little space and maybe a microwave and small fridge might be the retreat a person really needs, and not somewhere fancy with lots of people to talk to and lectures about writing. In the end, many of us simply need to just sit down and write.
It would be nice if there were some good sunsets for pictures, though.