So fellow writer and editor extraordinaire Ramona DeFelice Long was awarded a two-week fellowship for a writing retreat at the Virgina Center for the Creative Arts. It sounds idyllic. You have a cabin, a desk, a bed, corkboards on the walls. Three meals a day provided. Socializing if you want it, solitude if you don't. Beautiful surroundings in a climate more southern than New England. Ramona has been mostly offline since she arrived there, but apparently she can access the Internet if she wants to.
Ramona writes that she just hit the 30,000 word mark at day eleven. WOW! Ramona, you rock. Mostly for focus, for sticking with it, for typing out that draft. Although knowing Ramona, I'll bet a nickle that her first drafts
are as polished as my tenth drafts.
Somebody even goes into town every few days for, as Ramona put it, "supplies." This after I asked her if she can even GET a drink to celebrate the 30k milestone with. Yes, apparently.
Needless to say, I'm going to be readying my application sometime in the next two weeks (before I start my new day job, which I expect will demand much of my energy in the beginning).
In the meantime, my dear and generous friend Deb has allowed me to borrow her lovely, quiet Plum Island second home for a solo writing retreat next weekend. The house is across the road from the Atlantic, and has light and breeze aplenty. I plan to stock up on large sheets of paper, new markers, and large sticky notes so I can storyboard my way through the rest of my first Local Foods mystery. I'll bring food, a bit of wine, my walking shoes, and my laptop. If the house comes with Internet, I plan to ignore it. (By the way, should you want to rent this lovely beach house for a week or longer, leave a comment and I'll put you in touch with Deb!)
Mad Martha's Cafe is right next door for big
nourishing breakfasts and coffee. And we'll see how many words I can accomplish in three solitary days. (I have, of course, dreamed of it before.)
And you? Have you done long retreats? Weekends? What works best for you? Or can you accomplish long focused writing stretches at home?