Retreating from the world can be a good thing!

Writing retreats. If you are an author and haven’t been on one–for heavens sake, GO! I just returned from five days in the Florida panhandle with some writing buds, and I am energized. We plotted, brainstormed, and watched movies–tearing them apart to see how their character arcs worked. It was a blast.

We also ate some delicious seafood, shopped in some fun little gift shops, and enjoyed the beach. I got up early every morning and walked along the shoreline watching the beautiful sunrise…and was able to get the above pic, which astounded me. The heron was there everyday, searching for breakfast, and I think he got ticked because I kept following him along the beach. Crabs were everywhere in the water. I think it’s time for them to spawn, and all I had to do was stick my toe into the minimal surf and they scrambled away. Too funny. Throw in a few terns–which run and fly much faster than I remembered–a flock of lurking seagulls, and a plethora of tiny hermit crabs, and you have much of the local critter population, which was extremely entertaining. I treasured my time with them each day, and didn’t mind getting up early to annoy them.

The pool at the condo, which was right on the beach at Perdido Key, was a delight. The water was warm; the pool, spotless–and I swam for ages. It was so relaxing after hunching over my laptop and thinking about my plots and characters for hours at a time. My friends enjoyed the pool too, and we often had the place to ourselves.

Writing is usually such a solitary experience, and I would say that most writers are introverts. So a retreat like this was more than welcome, not only to break the day-in, day-out writing monotony, but to recharge and regroup. I’m excited about my book again, and about the next project I have lined up, which my pals helped me plot. Wahoo!!

So if you write, get away. Forget routine, your usual world, and the stress of everyday life. It will enhance the experience of putting words on the page and invigorate your muse. ; )

http://www.melanieatkins.com
http://www.myspace.com/melanieatkins
http://www.cobblestone-press.com

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Retreating from the world can be a good thing!

  1. Your pictures are lovely. Just looking at them, I feel peaceful and ready to write. Also, love the picture of your cat in the previous post. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Edie! I had so much fun stalking that heron. LOL He kept looking over his shoulder while I was following him down the beach, like he was saying, “I’m looking for my breakfast. DO YOU MIND?”

  3. June

    I can’t think of a way to be more productive than to spend time with writing friends. The pictures say it all. Peaceful, relaxing, and fun.

  4. Your pictures are wonderful. I did a writers’ weekend a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t get to go to the beach but we had a pool with a pagoda and ceiling fan. I got as much work done in one day as I do in some weeks.

    Glad you’re home safely.

  5. Beee-u-tee-ful! I need a retreat!!!

  6. Thanks, y’all. I’m already making plans to do this again next year. Can’t wait.

  7. We’re trying to plan one for October. Your pictures just made me want to go even more. I’m so glad you had such a fantastic, productive time 🙂

  8. Your retreat sounds amazing. I love writing retreats. I went on one in June and I can’t wait for another one.

  9. Thanks, L.A.! We should get together for a retreat! That would be a blast. Know of any good locations between there and here?

  10. The retreat sounds wonderful. Every aspect of it. I would love the opportunity to do something like this. Hope you’re energized and ready to churn out another book.

    Jess

  11. Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Melanie. The pictures are a beautiful plus to your beach-beckoning prose!

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