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