This September is our third annual Writing Retreat in Lake Arrowhead. One of the most common questions we get about the retreat is, basically, why? We decided to ask our past participants, some of whom you’ll see this year if you attend, to give firsthand accounts of what makes our retreat so special.
What project(s) have you worked on during the Writing Retreat?
Cindy: I am in the process of working on my second novel and I was able to work on it while I was at the Writing Retreat.
Pam: For two years, I have worked on editing my novel that I created during a NaNoWriMo. The first retreat was responsible for a breakthrough that continued the process through the second retreat. In year two I started practicing the “Save the Cat” process with a short story that I continued to work on through the Writers Studio last February.
For this year’s retreat, I will continue the editing of the novel, but my primary goal will be to turn the short story into a submission for ‘Writers of the Future’ contest.
Catherine: As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I worked on a book that helps guide individuals through their personal healing journey.
What is your favorite memory from your attendance at the Retreat?
Cindy: I have to say that chatting during the writing sessions was my favorite part. Mainly, because it was great to connect with other writers and hear about their challenges, doubts and wins. Having Charles Jensen as our “leader” is also really wonderful, because he’s very talented and offers some great thoughts on writing.
Pam: I surprised myself by diving head first into the open mic sessions which allowed me to read parts of my projects and watch for reactions. However, I really love the final night’s ‘table read’ of a portion of our screenwriter participants’ projects. It is fun and really provides a capstone to the week’s work.
I also love the fact that I can create a personal space and be surrounded by chart-size timelines, character inspirations that start to help me break open the problem areas one by one. Other than packing up the computer every night, that space can be left intact for me to step right back into the next morning.
Catherine: I loved the uninterrupted hours of writing. And garnering the courage to read at the open mic.
What would you tell another writer is the best thing about the Retreat?
Catherine: It’s priceless to be in a community focused on creating the best environment to write.
Pam: This week is for you. I have restricted my device use to before breakfast and before dinner. I try to totally unplug and let myself be pampered — no meal prep, no laundry, no cleaning — just me and my writing. I would love to have enough money to be a pampered writer.
Cindy: I think it’s important to make writing a priority. Especially for those of us juggling full-time careers, parenthood… One can get lost in the busy of life and forget what it is that makes you, you. The writing retreat is awesome for me, because I struggle with allowing myself the time to work on my passion projects. There’s always work to do, dinners to make, homework to help with, a home to clean, and the retreat allows me to just focus all my energy on the one thing I want to do – write. Feels good.
It also doesn’t hurt that someone cooks all your meals, cleans your room and there is coffee available anytime, anywhere!
If you want to join us, there are still a few spots available. The initial deposit of $25 will hold your spot, but make sure you note the refund deadlines – and know that fully paid reservations take priority and once we’re full, we’re full. Register and get all the info here.