This week I participated in a writing retreat. It ran from last Monday to yesterday, but I believe if people arrived on Sunday and stayed until tomorrow, no one would be upset. I missed last year, but attended the year before. That was the first time I went.
Spending a few days there this week became my second time at the retreat.
It's hard to explain how amazing spending time with a bunch of writers can be. Many of you--especially those who spend a lot of time with one writer--might think multiplying that experience sounds like a terrible idea. They'd be wrong, at least, the writers might thing you're wrong.
There's only a couple of rules. 1--you're expected to write, because when you're writing, you're not a distraction for the others who are expected to write. 2--you're responsible for at least one meal. It's like a weeklong potluck. A few years ago, I brought a meal for everyone. This year, there were so many participants already signed up for meals, I just paid each time, and boy--we ate good! 3--after dinner, you can continue writing, or play boardgames with the group. Two years ago, I played games (and had poor showings...). This time, I decided to keep writing.
Since I wrote Chaser back in 2016, I haven't dedicated a lot of time toward my writing, and that's a shame. Sure, we've had issues to deal with at work, at home--just like everyone else. It's amazing anyone who is not a writer full-time writes anything at all (and that can be said for some of the full-time writers as well...). In the 2 1/2 days I was at the retreat this week, I wrote just under 10,000 words. It's been a long time since I wrote that much, and it felt good.
Of course, the retreat wouldn't be possible with the amazing Butler family. They literally open up their home to a bunch of dudes. They put up with our corny jokes, our unusual places to write, our quirky personalities. And we're the better for it. At the conclusion of the event, awards are given out. They're named for Edward M. Kovel. I don't know who that is, but it doesn't really matter, like the awards. The important thing is not the particular award you get, but what you were able to accomplish, the things you learned, the friendships you made and strengthened that matter most.
This year, I got a hat--all of us winners did. I got 10K words. I got great advice about writing and the publishing world. I got to spend time with wonderful people. And I am a 2018 Edward M. Kovel winner. A very good week, indeed.