Showing posts from February, 2023

Writing Retreats

Recently, I went to a writing retreat.   In the past, I always thought I wouldn't benefit from a writing retreat. My husband is a writer, and the two of us live in a relatively spacious house with great views. Also, we don't have live-in dependents, day jobs, or many other commitments.  For those reasons, the benefits other people say they get from a retreat—isolation from noise and the chaos of daily living, the ability to focus on one project, congenial company of folks who understand the allure of writing and creativity—are part of my regular life.   Three years ago, I was in a transitional space—though if you recall February of 2020, you can see how I had no idea how much the world could change, and how quickly. Still. Back then, my essay collection had been out for a few months, I’d done a few events to support it and connect with readers (so much fun!), and I was itching to get back to writing and revising.    Three years ago, the project I was trying to work

What I am Taking Into February

I meant to post this a week ago, which was still later than usual but less late, however, best-laid plans and all that. So last week, I was just home from a writing retreat (more about it later), and while preparing for it, I put together some thoughts about the gifts of January. The new year, especially February, has brought us more sunlight. First: a renewed sense of accomplishment, professionally speaking. For a few months, I'm mentoring an accomplished writers who's putting together a creative nonfiction manuscript. Also, for the retreat, I provided feedback on a couple of essays.  It's a lot of fun to exercise muscles I haven't had the chance to use for a while. These projects have sparked conversations about reflection, narration, scenes, the situation/story theory, and the benefits and dangers of allowing readers to do a lot of work. It's fulfilling and rewarding for me--and I hope is as helpful to those whose work I'm privileged to read.  Second: I