A Great Escape

Me and a fellow writer... And a ton of nail polish we never got around to using. :)

Me and a fellow writer… And a ton of nail polish we never got around to using. šŸ™‚

I just got back from a writers retreat. It was three days in a large cabin high in the mountains in Utah. It’s the second one I’ve been to and I feel so blessed that I’m able to attend these.

It started because a gal in my critique group has access to this cabin through her father. So we don’t have to pay to stay at this grand place. Since most of the people in my critique group are married with young kids at home, it’s still difficult to get away – even if the cabin is free. But we all got so much work done at the first one that we decided we would make it happen twice a year.

The one this last weekend was amazing! Not only did I get a ton of work done on my final book in the Blood Inheritance Trilogy, but I got to talk to other writers who feel the same passion about books and writing for three whole days! It was so fun to sit quietly at the table (It seats 12, so there’s plenty of room!), and one person would get really excited and share this major epiphany they just had about their story. I did it myself when I wrote a battle scene at the end of the book. (I can’t tell because I don’t want to give anything away, but it was an exciting development!)

Most of us are discovery writers, so it really was living the story as we wrote it out, and I rarely get to jump up and exclaim about this awesome part that just came to me as I was writing. So that part was really fun.

We didn’t work the entire time. We took breaks at the end of each night to get junk food out and watch a movie. I mean, a bunch of women in a big cabin all to themselves without any obligation to kids or spouses? Oh yeah, we definitely had fun! There was hiking and air hockey and a pool table. There was so much to do that we didn’t have time to do it all (like I said, we accomplished a lot with our writing too, so we weren’t playing… the entire time.).

So why am I telling you all the boring details of my writers retreat? Because I realized this weekend that stuff like this is incredibly therapeutic on many levels. The most obvious one is that it helps as a writer because I’m able to get more written in three days than I can usually do in a month. But it was also a great escape from life in general.

My wonderful husband is a great father, so I didn’t have to worry about him or my kids while I was away. I got to take a mental (and physical) break from the whole stay-at-home-mom gig and came home ready to jump back into life again. It really is important to take time for yourself.

So am I saying that everyone should go on a writers retreat? Well… they are really fun, but no – that’s not what I’m saying. I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that it’s a good thing to take time out for yourself every once in a while. Even if you can’t get away overnight, you could still go out on a girls night (Or guys night. Sorry men – I’m not trying to exclude you. It’s just as important for you to get a break as it is for us women!) or something. Whatever your escape may be, it’s healthy to get it in two or three times a year. And if you can do it more often than that, consider yourself truly blessed!