I’m on retreat this weekend. If you’re anything like my family, you’ll be saying ‘again?’. If you’re like my writing friends, you’ll be saying ‘again?’, but with a very different inflection.
There are six of us this weekend. We’re staying in a little place near Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. We’re on the top of the mountain with a magnificent view and totally exposed to whatever the weather wants to throw at us. Last night it was a huge windstorm. We sat in the living room with the fire going, toasty warm, while all around us the wind howled and twigs and branches slapped and crashed. It went on through the night, gaining in intensity, until, suddenly, it stopped. That was about 2.00am.
At 3.30am the possum came home. I woke to scrambling and thumping in the ceiling above my head. I count myself lucky that the possum doesn’t seem to have access to the whole ceiling so didn’t go running all over the place.
I finally got to sleep around 4.00am, only to wake before 7.00am with the sun streaming in my uncurtained windows. The courtyard is filled with leaves, half a tree came down in the neighbour’s yard and all the mandarins fell of the tree in the front yard. Luckily, where we parked the cars seems to have been protected, so there’s no damage there.
Oddly, after spending all night editing, and with the prospect of more writing this morning, I’m not feeling tired at all. That might change after a few hours.
Last night was really productive. I finished the line edits on Warrior Pledge - just the global edits to do before Tuesday. I also critiqued a chapter for a friend. Today I'll be working on character profiles, plot and first chapter of the sequel to Warrior Pledge.
Life happens. It gets busy. It gets stressful. And then I realise it's been days, sometimes weeks, since I've written anything and I get more stressed. After a while I begin to lose motivation and confidence. I get cranky, short-tempered, and my family begins to point up the stairs and say, "Go to your room!". They know I need to write.
Last week I talked about writing groups and how they help me stay focused and achieving. A couple of the groups I'm in also organise retreats--weekends away that are focused solely on writing. Having time away from all the distractions and responsibilities life entails, where there's a number of us thinking of nothing more than putting words on paper, or improving those we've already written, is incredible.
I always come away from those weekends with new enthusiasm--and a lot more accomplished. The picture is where I'll be working this weekend.
I have a long list of goals for this weekend. Typically, I won't do them all, but I know I'll have more done on the retreat than I would if I stayed at home.
Job number one is to write a synopsis and blurb for No Evil Star, the sequel to The Planet Whisperer. I have three paragraphs written so far, but only the first one is worth keeping in any way. I'm expecting there'll be at least six versions before I get something approaching a reasonable synopsis. (Have I mentioned how much I hate writing synopses?)
E E Montgomery
About writing, life, and random thoughts.
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