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For the past three
to four years I have been working on mystery novels for middle grade.
fearless leader at the RCW set out a challenge: write short stories for middle grade.
Why do I find
that scary? As I said, I write mystery NOVELS for middle grade. Uh, oh.
But I remembered
an artist friend of mine complaining about an exhibition opportunity he’d offered
to his painting friends. He needed small works (I’m talking inches here) for an
exhibit in a small space.
‘I don’t work
small,’ came the reply. My friend’s response was, ‘neither do I, but I’m going
to give it a try.’
Give it a try.
Powerful wisdom in those four words. I believe I will.
something new and different you’ve dodged lately? Rethink that and give
it a try.
By Chris Sorensen Originally posted by
Chris Sorensen at casorensenwrite.wordpress.com, 6/2/14
I had the privilege this
past weekend to attend my first ever writing retreat. Four writers from my
writing group – Richmond Children’s Writers
– and three from another local group made our way an hour and a half south of
Richmond to Lake Gaston. One of the members had an in with a
condo owner so we got to stay for free (yeah, big plus).
The goals of the retreat
1) have time for writing
2) to learn and grow as a
writer through sharing and discussion
3) to have fun!
Mission accomplished. It
was a wonderful experience and couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I
find myself getting comfortable or unmotivated about every 3-4 months and need
that little spark to keep me going. It was perfect!
There was a pretty
organized schedule, but it was not set in stone. There was time for writing,
critiquing, discussion sessions, eating and just enjoying each other’s company.
Over a two day period, there was probably 10 hours for writing and 10 hours for
The top 3 things I learned
at the retreat:
- it’s a very positive
experience to sit with other writers and just…write! I’m used to being by
myself and leaving all the distractions behind when I write. But sitting in the
same room with other writers was very rejuvenating and encouraging. All the
clacks of the keyboard, the periodic discussion…there was a great energy. We
were very blessed to have a great group that melded well together.
- I need to take more time
to brainstorm and discuss my writing projects with other writers. I am very
blessed to have a critique group, but I need to take more time to interact
about ‘big picture’ subjects and other mechanics of the craft.
- good readers make good
writers! I have fallen out of the habit of reading for pleasure and need to get
back in the groove.
Considering going to a
writing retreat? While this was a group organized retreat and somewhat
informal, I imagine all writing retreats are similar in goal and organization.
Are you stuck in your writing? Do you find yourself lacking writing friends to
brainstorm and commiserate with? Do you have a goal but aren’t sure how to get
there? Are you at the point in your writing where you can give honest critiques
and receive them as well?
If you answered yes, then
it sounds like a writing retreat might be for you! Have a look here for a great tool to help you look for
I know I am looking forward
to doing it again next Spring!