This writing week has felt more intense than usual. I’ve been working through multiple Beta reads this week (yes, I took on too many, but it’s like kittens—I can’t adopt just one), keeping up with two WIP, reading three different published books (again, kittens), and gearing up to tackle at least one major revision, and possibly two. I have submissions that I should send out, only it’s raining, and that means my internet is iffy at best. Those will hang over my head until I get a break in the weather. I have garden work to do. Seeds to plant. A house that really needs to be cleaned with the windows open. Schoolwork to grade. Rejections coming in at a rate that lets me know I am putting myself out there as I should be.
It’s fun. It’s wild. It’s a bit chaotic—the way I like it.
It’s also exhausting.
The other day I was chatting with writing friends and I said I felt in need of a tonic. I’m not suffering from burnout. I am loving both my WIP and still sad that I finished one last week. I’m excited about moving forward on revisions with another project. I don’t feel like I want to quit. I don’t feel like I want to slow down. But dang it, I need a tonic to keep up!
However, finding ways to relax and recharge has been difficult. Weather means my usual tonic—going out to the river or the woods—isn’t a great option. Going out to eat, going to the library, going out for a hike on a popular trail, going to a writing conference isn’t something I can do. But I seized on the idea of a writer retreat as a potential tonic for helping me to relax, to slow down, and take some time to recharge.
My plan right now is to take a week in April (quite possibly Camp NaNoWriMo) to enjoy quiet time writing. I don’t need a break. What I need is a retreat to make me think deeply about writing, about improving my writing, and even working on some of the more delicate parts of editing and revision, like emotionally charged prose, evocative telling, and microtension. I want to set up a week where most of the cooking is advance planned, and I can count on a few really nice things to eat. I also want to schedule ample time to simply sit outside and think, to take a few long walks, to lie down and read, and to work intensively on my craft with some of my WIP currently in revision. I want to watch a few videos and take notes, but I plan to spend a lot more time with my craft books, working through exercises on my own, preparing before and after sections for later review when I feel I’m stagnating. Hopefully, it will do the job of helping me recharge for the months to come.
Million Word Madness Update 25,408
Total words for February 81,112