Yesterday I went to a writers’ retreat organized by Writers’ HQ. My plan was pretty simple: to organize my ideas before starting NaNoWriMo, and to write the story that has been bugging me for years. It might seem like a simple task. However, it can be more difficult than slaying a dragon. The retreat was amazing, and it turned out very productive for me. I blew up my own expectations, and I could plot world domination, and write two chapters. Now, how did this happen?
I guess that one of the things was to be surrounded by fellow writers working on their stories. Some wanted to review their poems, others work on plots and characters, others writing a play and even a memoir. I felt welcomed, warm, and inspired. So much so, my fingers started working by themselves, and I found it quite easy to focus. Plus, the whole environment was perfect for drinking gallons of coffee.
There’s no writing without snacks, coffee, tea, and sheer amounts of chocolate. All of which were kindly provided by Writers’ HQ. After writing for some hours, we stopped to do something unthinkable: socializing with each other while we devoured sandwiches, salads, and sweets. After writing about faeries, haunted libraries, and murderous books, I needed some fuel to keep it up. Listening to other writers’ experiences is gold, especially if your thirst for knowledge in the matter knows no boundaries.
After snacking, we were at it again: writing. I surprised myself greatly, and I could manage to write a chapter. At this point, I was on fire. So much so that stopping for breath was difficult. My fingers just wanted to keep typing. At times you feel so powerless staring at the blank page during ages. There’s nothing that can bring you to write a single letter. However, when the planets align, you’re capable of creating magic, and even if you might hate what you wrote afterward, you feel like a Goddess once your fingers can’t stop popping out words.
For every goal we achieved, we got a golden star sticker. You might think that such a simple act isn’t enough to motivate adults, but you’d be surprised to see the glow in our faces every single time we got one. I guess that if we added some chocolate treat to the pot, it would feel better than Xmas. By the time we finished the retreat, I had three golden stickers and a well-done bubble note. Ah, the perks of paper with glue and cute shinny shapes.
However, I believe that what motivates the most is to be in the correct environment. We had plenty of space, beautiful light, and a fantastic group eager to conquer the unthinkable: the blank page. Some of us wrote more than others, but the feat was there for all of us: we all could do something great with our stories.
NaNoWriMo is around the corner, and I feel better prepared than last year. Because I had so much fun in this retreat, I also decided to join during November. So, I guess that I’ll end up panicking in the next retreat. If you feel courageous, please join NaNoWriMo. It’s crazy but fun, amazing but challenging, magical but incredibly hard. And despite me wanting not to do it again, here I am prepared to give it another go.
I loved this retreat, the cozy atmosphere and the inspiration from everyone. So, if you’re out there and you have one of the retreats nearby, just don’t give it too much thought and join one. It’s the perfect excuse to drink gallons of coffee and eat tons of snacks. Also, no one in the room will think that pixies aren’t real.
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