a mini-retreat

In lieu of big long several-weeks-long writing retreats, I’ve decided to try out regular weekend retreats.  This weekend, I am taking along a writer friend to go and write in the mountains.  Will it work?  Will we have chemistry as writing partners, quietly allowing each other to work, but also encourage each other raucously at other moments?  Will we have fun?  I know the possibilities:  when a writing partnership and writing marathon works, it REALLY works!

I have a friend who has been a years-long writing partner to me.  We are both working on novels, so that is very helpful in having a common mindset and goal, though I am sure it’s not critical, just that we are both committed to our work.  Sometimes I write short stories, and it is enlightening to compare our processes.  Anyway, we get together once a week in a very loosely structured, but consistent manner–chatting for the first 30 minutes of our meeting, writing for at least a solid hour after that.  Sharing is optional, though we read each other the work we’ve done everytime, offering only encouragement. It’s amazing how productive we each can be in that hour!

Oftentimes, it is the only meaningful writing we each accomplish.  We have written throughout her pregnancy, and with her daughter swinging in a little chair watching us, and it has been an amazing experience, one of the most valuable relationships in my life.

Between the two of us, we have written hundreds and hundreds of pages in those meetings.  What would I do without her?  It is not just about the writing either, though it is certainly the focus of our meetings.

I have plans to go off for a weekend to write, and I am hoping to uncover another setting in which I can create, somewhere in between those weekly meetings with my writing partner/friend and three weeks alone at a writing colony.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “a mini-retreat

  1. I have the feeling you are going to have an IMMENSELY productive weekend (I am assuming the little daughter is not going, too). Have a wonderful retreat!!

  2. oh, this is with another friend, someone i have not had an established writing partnership with! so there are some questions in the air, but i think it wil work out. worst case scenario: we don’t write, but we have fun anyway.

  3. The weekend writing retreat idea is fantastic! I want to figure out how to do that (where to go… where to go…) You’ve inspired me to do some research.

    But more importantly, how did it go?

  4. nova: It was intense! But productive. Rent a cabin or a house somewhere, not too far but not too close (I recommend within a 3 hours drive?) and just go for it.

    Know that whoever you go with will flavor the weekend. Someone with a VERY different process from yours (like this friend has) will challenge you and push you in an unplanned direction but that is good. Someone with a similar process will make things smoother in another way.

    I wrote the weekend up a bit on my recent post.

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