I just spent a long weekend away with several of my writing buddies. Not everyone in my writing group could attend or attend for the whole time recovering from surgery and unable to drive herself came for an hour (chauffeured by lovely hubby)....another came for one day and one night....another unable to attend due to sudden illness gave her place to a fellow scribe...but it was just what I needed.

It was a lovely old house with a great shabby chic style inside. 

Wooden floorboards that dipped and bowed, twinkling chandeliers and white washed walls.

and lovely bedrooms. I arrived first and managed to nab this lovely room for myself..

Writing retreats gives us a chance to escape the everyday demands and focus on one thing. Writing.
That doesn't mean that we don't do other things...most days there is at least one walk.

Some great meals and chances to chat. 

But we knew this time was precious and made the most of it. Time away from husbands/ kids / jobs / domestic clutter. We each had a list of what we wanted to achieve...and I'm proud to say we got so much done.

It was an easy pattern to get into. Rising when you wanted, breakfasting and commenting on the view. Often there would be a return for a cuppa and then some reading, usually of writing magazines and writing chat. We talked of grant applications and novel structure, the hunt for publishers and tidbits about the writing industry. We would enjoy a leisurely lunch...then by silent agreement we would wander to our own areas.

One person set her laptop up on a small desk in the sunroom, one read on a couch in the lounge, the other set her writing out on the kitchen table. I set up as below.

And we worked. Silently. 
There would be the call of the kettle, the occasional walk around for a brief 'how are you going?' or 'have you got a second to chat about this...' or 'can I ask how you would word this.' 
But otherwise it was head down for 4-5 hour stints.

Then once again, as if drawn, we would wander to the lounge, cuppas in hand and talk about the progress we had made.

As I said before it was exactly what I needed. No work, no housework to distract, no garden to wander (although I did wander their garden...quite a few times). No emails, no wonder what was for dinner, what time to get up in the morning for work or toy library or .....

I had two items on my list and I achieved one.
A huge one.

I wanted to get back into my travel memoir and I did. Worked solidly and determinedly, and I achieved what I had set out to do.

As an aside, I also wrote a poem, began a short story and have pages of notes (at least 8 of them) with everything from quotes to book suggestions, ideas for my blog and snippets that could be a poem. 

It also left me feeling relaxed and eager to begin this writing business again. I find it so easy to get lost in the everyday life, and continually put myself last. Always there for others, when they want, what they want. It gave me the chance to simply focus on what I love to do.

It was a great reminder of something I had forgotten. How much I enjoy it when I write. Yes, it's not always easy and yes it is damned time consuming. But that ability to share a story, to take someone else on a journey....that's something I enjoy so much.

It was so good to be able to give myself that jolt.
Huge thanks to the lovelies who came away with me and for graciously sharing their thoughts and views, their feedback and encouragement. And a shared love of the written word. 


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