I've just come back from a writers' retreat.
There we were, eight MM Romance novelists, spread across two caravans on a storm swept site on England's south coast. Torrential rain, winds that rocked the 'van and threatened to send us tumbling down the hill towards an icy English Channel... And the seagulls. Some of them were the size of a large dog/cow/pony (delete as appropriate). We took our lives in our hands, and it was fabulous, every single minute. There were mountains of food and rivers of wine. Add in a pinch of gossip, a liberal dose of drunken story telling, and our combined body weight in laughs, it was a recipe made in heaven to create the perfect weekend.
It was great fun, but it was also very productive because we all worked as hard as we played. Word count targets were surpassed and even obliterated in one case. Great strides were made on WIPs, and some even finished. I beat the word count I'd set myself by over a thousand words, which made me a very happy bunny indeed.
Times like this, whether it be a day, a weekend or longer are invaluable to authors because writing is a solitary pursuit. Sure, some of us might pitch up in cafes, or libraries, places where there are others milling around. But it's not the same as time spent with other authors, writing side-by-side with them, offering encouragement and support. It just isn't, trust me on that.
The next retreat, no doubt, will take place on another out of season, windy caravan site, buffeted by wind and rain and stalked by mutant gulls.
I can't wait. Bring it on.
A E Ryecart
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