The Unexpected Gifts of My Writing Retreat


Today is my last day at my writing retreat. It’s time to pack up and go home. I had hoped to get so much done here and I was sad yesterday because I was feeling like I had failed.

Two weeks ago, I looked at my writing schedule and realized I could actually finish my Rapunzel draft while I was on retreat. That was before my computer died and I got sick. I lost a week and a half of work time, putting me way behind on my writing goals.

Although I managed (with lots of help from my wonderful husband) to pack and get up to the mountains as scheduled, I was still recovering from my cold when I arrived at the cabin. I’ve had to spend time sleeping, reading, napping, and oh, yeah, sleeping. I also did some writing, but no more than I would do during a normal week at home. And that bummed me out.

The retreat has not been what I expected. I have not accomplished the things I wanted to. But the good news is, other things have happened while I’ve been here, and I realize now how valuable they are.

  • I got to talk in-depth with my friends about writing and the vagaries of the creative process, both topics I find fascinating.
  • When I was full of doubt about my novel, one of my friends helped me to see that my instincts were good and I should go with my gut. I would still be agonizing over what to do if she hadn’t reassured me I was on the right track.
  • I got time to take care of myself. I went for a walk in the sunshine each day and got plenty of rest.
  • I was able to ease my way back into my daily routine, which had been completely abandoned while I was sick.

I wanted a finished manuscript, but I needed good conversation, creative support, and improved health. Fortunately, this week gave me a whole lot of the things I really need.

I’m feeling much better about the retreat now. So much better, than I can’t wait to get back to my writing.

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