01 February 2015

Writing retreat week

This past week was dedicated to a bi-annual "writing retreat." I don't usually go anywhere for these retreats; it's more a writing oasis I create for myself wherever I am by giving myself permission to let everything else go and making writing (and taking care of myself so I can write) my sole priority.

This particular writing retreat took place while house and dog sitting for relatives and, as predicted, my productivity was impacted by dog training (okay, yes, and seeing friends in the town I was visiting). I didn't accomplish my task, which was to finish the first draft of my pseudonym's latest novel. However, I got close, and I think I can still meet my Feb. 4 deadline. Yay!

What it will mean for this week, though, is giving myself a few more days of "writing retreat" - letting the blogging, social media, etc. go - and then devoting the end of the week to catching up on all the stuff I'd originally intended to do all week long.

As for upcoming challenges, I'm going to be testing for my yellow belt in tai chi on Tuesday, and to prepare for it I need to spend a little extra time practicing on Monday and Tuesday. But since I'm basically excusing myself from most other duties for the first half of the week and I've scheduled five hours a day of writing time Monday through Wednesday, I don't expect it to prevent me from finishing on deadline.

Read on for more on what's in store this week, to find out who my next guest is in the writing success series, and to learn about an awesome call for short story submissions. 

ROW80 Update 
"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

[Note: This update only includes the past week's tasks and the coming week's tasks. If you'd like to know how they relate to my goals for this round, you can read my 2015 Round 1 Goals post.]

Creative projects
Past week's task: Finish 1st draft of WIP1. Wrote a lot and got far, but not quite done. Still 9 or 10 chapters away from finishing.
Coming week's tasks: Finish the draft by Wednesday and send to beta readers! Take Thursday and Friday off from writing to do a little sleeping in (finishing a book can be exhausting) and catch up on other work.

Past week's tasks: If another guest post comes in, post it on Friday. Otherwise, none. No guest posts came in this week.
Coming week's tasks: Publish next guest post in the writing success series, by comedy horror author Scott Burtness.
Reading for fun
Past week's tasks: Read The Martian Chronicles, Stargirl and/or Love, Stargirl. Read The Martian Chronicles and Stargirl. Both fairly short, but I'm still kinda impressed with myself for having read two books in one week, and during a writing-intensive week at that. *Pats self on back*
Coming week's tasks: Since I'm ahead of my planned reading schedule and have so much else going on this week, I'm going to give myself permission to not read a book this week. I might do it anyway...we'll see.

Community participation
Past week's tasks: Writing sprints with Twitter friend Jo; possibly participate in Friday #writeclub if I think of it. Jo was in the midst of home decorating madness, so she wasn't able to show up for sprints. That's okay; I wrote the sh*t out of some words anyway.
Coming week's tasks: Comment on 2 ROWers' posts.
Social media

Past week's tasks: None. I actually did get on Twitter and FB a little this week anyway. Go, me. One of the things I posted was this kick-ass call for short story subs from Forest Avenue Press. They're looking for fantastical tales set in Portland, Oregon up to 6K words. Deadline is April 15. (Hmm. Maybe I will try to write a flash fiction piece for it later this month. Fun!)
Coming week's tasks: Spend at least 30 mins on Twitter on Thursday and Friday; at least 2 posts to the FB page.

Past week's tasks: None. I actually had an amazing, 3-hour Skype conversation with Rebecca Faith Editorial about our approaches to freelancing and the craft of editing. I also emailed and messaged with some returning clients about their upcoming projects.
Coming week's tasks: Finished drafting at least one coaching-focused post.

Have you ever done a writing retreat? For how long, and how did you create space for yourself to prioritize writing?

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80ers Sunday updates. 


  1. I love the idea of a writing retreat, leaving all the social media and blog writing aside, and just sitting down with the novel and having fun with it!

    Best of luck with the Tai Chi and I hope the rest of the week unfolds as you wish. :)

  2. No. i haven't tried a writing retreat. Might try to get together with fellow bloggers who are not too far from me. So, that's exciting! :-)