A Cure for the Dumps

Friday I’m heading for the Bay Pointe Inn on the banks of Michigan’s beautiful Gun Lake.

Bay Pointe Inn and Conference Center

Bay Pointe Inn and Conference Center

My husband grew up in this area, so over the years we’ve often visited Gun Lake. We used to drive up for Sunday brunch at the original Bay Pointe Inn, before they tore it down and built the new conference center. (I often wonder what happened to the ghost of the little girl who “haunted” the restaurant. Is she still around?)

This is how Bay Pointe Inn looked back then.

This is how Bay Pointe Inn looked back then.

My visit this weekend is so I can participate in the Mid-Michigan RWA® Chapter’s annual Retreat from Harsh Reality.


I need a retreat. I’ve been feeling depressed about my writing and my sales. I’m tired of having to be a salesperson, of spending more time on marketing than on writing. I’m frustrated by all the interruptions that keep me from writing, and of having to work in a cramp area. (Of course, some of those interruptions are my own fault. I need to say “no” more often.)

I’m hoping being around other writers—some brand new and others fantastically successful—will get my creative juices going again. I’m hoping the blocks of time allotted this weekend for sharing ideas and the “write in” times will push me out of my emotional dumps.

Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to the highs and lows that, for me, go with being a writer. One day I’m elated with everything that’s happening; the next, I’m ready to quit. I’ve found it’s something non-writers don’t always understand. Just the idea that I’ve had books published, in their minds, should make me happy. And it does, but there’s always that next step. The praise of your peers. The praise of reviewers. The New York Times or USA Today lists. Tons of books sold. Huge checks to bank. A movie made of your book.

The list can go on. Other writers do understand, which is one reason why going to a retreat or conference is so important. Over a glass of wine or a slice of pizza, writers talk, complain, encourage…and understand. Together, writers realize they’re not alone.

If you’re interested in something like this, I’m afraid it’s too late to attend this year’s Retreat from Harsh Reality, but keep it in mind for next year. It’s always in the spring, and it seems to get better every year. Check out this year’s schedule. Retreat Schedule

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18 Responses to A Cure for the Dumps

  1. Robert Johnson says:

    Can I go to? I’m feeling down in the dumps about the increasingly large cost of multiple horse ownership.

    • Maris Soule says:

      As I said, Bob, it’s too late to register for this year’s retreat. And I’m not sure the discussions would help regarding multiple horse ownership. Cats. Dogs. Yes. On the other hand, I’m sure a group of writers could come up with suggestions. Meanwhile, tell that woman you live with her horses don’t need to live in a 5-star barn. They will survive on less.

  2. Maris, I’m looking forward to climbing out of the dumps at Retreat, too. I’m sure being around our guest speaker, the energetic and funny, award-winning Christie Craig, will put us all in a uplifted mood and ready to leap forward creatively. See you there!

  3. Sounds like the perfect cure Maris….have fun!

  4. Susan Dunn says:

    Maris, This is just what I need, too. And what a lovely place to be. Looks like a great event.

    • Maris Soule says:

      It has been a great event in the past, Susan, and promises to be a great one this year. I’m looking forward to stirring up the creative juices.

  5. Diane Burton says:

    I need this Retreat for the same reason, Maris. Just being around other authors lifts my spirits and energizes me. I’m looking forward to hearing our guest speaker. If she’s as funny as everyone says, it will be great. See you there.

  6. Sue Myers says:

    Would love to hear about the ghost. Love your books!

    Sue Myers

    • Maris Soule says:

      I don’t remember much of what the hostess told us about the ghost, other than she was a child and many people have seen her. (Or had, when the original building was there.) Thanks for the positive regarding my books, Sue. I needed that.

  7. Melissa Keir says:

    Enjoy the retreat! I’m sad to miss out!

  8. ann bennett says:

    I can see where the constant marketing can take the joy out of writing stories. The present system is so inefficient for the writer and for other levels of the business too.

    If they could outsource writers to some third world country they would. Have fun at the retreat. I could use a cruise. But I got all these folks to fuss over. You just can’t have your cake and eat it too, eh?

    I appreciate your blog. You certainly do give perspective. Thanks.

  9. Lucy Kubash says:

    I’m so glad you’ll be at retreat! We can all commiserate together. Love that picture of the old Inn. It looks like the perfect setting for a ghost story. See you soon.

    • Maris Soule says:

      I am soooo ready for this Retreat. And I loved the old building. It had character. Bay Pointe Inn is now beautiful, but I think it lost something in the make-over. See you soon, Lucy.