by Emma Leigh Reed
Writing can be a very lonely activity. We are by ourselves when we write and I know for me, I tend to shut myself away while I’m working on something. Last year I had joined a writing group in Tennessee that holds an annual writer’s retreat for their members only.
So the last weekend in February I flew to Nashville. The first year I went down I was very nervous, as I am not a big fan of meeting new people. Yet this year I flew into Nashville full of excitement and anticipation to be surrounded by these other writers. Typically on Saturday mornings they have different workshops you can attend. This year, the first thing was a writers sprint, and being so competitive it was right up my alley.
For those who are not familiar with writing sprints, they are a great way to jump start your creativity. Finding a partner (and they don’t have to be local), you write as much as you can in a specified time allotment (i.e. 20 minutes, half hour, hour). No correcting, revising, etc. Just get the words on the page. For me this is a useful tool to get the most writing done in a short period. The second advantage to doing this with a partner, or group, is that you hold each other accountable. You share how much you were able to do in the allotted time.
As I came away from this year’s writer’s retreat, I came away with a new accountability partner, one that although there are quite a few states between us, in this age of technology we can do writing sprints together via texting.
I would highly recommend for any writer who has a chance to attend a writers retreat to do it. There is nothing like being amidst fellow writers to be motivated. You have access to brainstorming partners to talk through scene problems and just support in general. So if you are not a part of a group that can get together regularly, even if it is just once a year, I would definitely suggest you find one. Don’t hide away and become a lonely writer. If you can’t find a local group to join, find a writing partner to hold each other accountable. It may be just the push you need to finish that next book.
Emma Leigh Reed has lived in New Hampshire all her life. She has fond memories of the Maine coastline and incorporates the ocean into all her books. She lives in a small town with her children. Her life has been touched and changed by her son’s autism – she views life through a very different lens than before he was born. Growing up as an avid reader, it was only natural for Emma Leigh to turn to creating the stories for others to enjoy.