My review of the Writers’ HQ Pre-Xmas Writers’ Retreat comes a little bit late. On November 17 I enjoyed another incredibly productive and inspiring retreat in Brighton. For some reason, every time I join Writers’ HQ I end up typing at light speed! This time I surprised myself again, and thanks to all the magic in the room I managed to write 8000+ words! But before I tell you how these retreats make you write more than you expect, let’s talk about cuteness, brightness, and venues.
Dungeons aren’t exactly the best of places for writers. There’re no cookies, no coffee, and no light. Although I admit that I mostly write wrapped in blankets and sipping coffee with Bailey’s, the truth is that being a hermit all the time isn’t exactly inspirational. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the venue, and I found the spirit of Xmas all over the place. Brightness, openness, and colors filled the room. A perfect space to let your imagination run wild was available for us writers, to inspire and get inspired.
We had balloons that sparked ideas and a table football. Nervous? Having the worst of times because you killed one of your darlings? No problem: use the table football for a match, and all your worries will fly away. Literally. They’ll detach from your body, ghastly and smoky and fly away to the abyss in the center of the galaxy.
Jo had prepared coffee when I arrived, and I could spot some snacks. Don’t worry, those weren’t the only snacks available during the day. We had plenty of them, including mince pies, and Xmas cookies. Plus, we had a very sunny day, something rare in winter. For some reason Thor makes it rain. No snow, folks, only rain. Perhaps we’re offering him the wrong type of beer?
I set my goal to 3000 words, thinking that I would spend most of the time staring at the blank screen, trying to organize my ideas, and then type something while sipping coffee. However, as soon as Jo gave us the starting point for writing, my fingers went on fire. This is rare since most of the time I’d be lucky if I hit 1000 words! So, what’s going on here?
- It’s obvious that Jo pours in some magic in the coffee. Some local witch brews inspiration potion for us, and Jo dutifully pours it in our coffee without no one noticing. That’s why she always makes the coffee.
- There’s a dragon living in the dungeons, just beneath the writing venue. He’s called David, and he loves quiet people. That’s why he hasn’t eaten us yet.
- We have no shortage of sweets. It’s been scientifically proven that not eating sweets while writing provokes the dreadful blank page syndrome. The best inspiration boosts, and typing rampages, come from the delightful hands of cookies and chocolate.
- When nobody stares all writers in the room shapeshift to unicorns, pixies, and elves. Some of us have scales and very sharp teeth. Should you ever interrupt a writer when doing their job, you might find out how sharp and pointy those might be.
- The magic of a group of writers writing is more powerful than all the magic in the world. Never underestimate a silent room of coffee drinkers and cookie eaters.
Ever since I started attending the retreats, I’ve been finding that writing comes easily. So, what has changed? The mindset, as simple as that. When you’re surrounded by fellow writers, you get inspired in different ways. Perhaps you’ll write more, or maybe you’ll find out what’s not working for you. You might find order into your chaos, and you might, at last, get the inspiration boost that will give you fuel for a month (or more).
Simply put: sharing with other writers your journey makes you more open to welcome inspiration. This can come in words per hour, idea boosts or editing survival kits. Plus, just sharing how terrible you feel because you just killed one of your darlings is also cathartic.
Although I couldn’t finish NaNoWriMo this year, I wrote a lot, and I’m happy with what I’ve written so far. (This might change next month when I decide to read it! I might end up hiding under my bed and kicking out the monster that lives under it for good.)
I’m also noticing that I’m more productive at home as well. Since I need to prepare for the retreat, I end up writing more and plotting more mayhem! This is good news since I was somewhat chaotic before attending any writing retreat.
There’s magic in Writers’ HQ writers’ retreats. Magic is real folks, and they have all the Hogwarts hoodoo. I’ve never been so happy of socializing while shying away behind my iPad screen. So, if you are hesitant of joining a writing retreat, give it a go. The worst thing that can happen is arriving home and realizing that you didn’t shapeshift back into a human.
The next retreat is in January. I can’t wait for it! And because it’s Xmas, and I needed an excuse for feeling like in a retreat while writing, I decided to get some Writers’ HQ swag to Yours Truly. Swearing mugs and notebooks are perfect to plot world domination, especially if you match them with mermaid matcha (true mermaid powder that’s green but turns blue as soon as it hits the water).
Copyright: Images on this post (C) depepi.com