Thursday, October 24, 2019

Refreshment for a Writer's Soul by Terri Weldon

Beautiful Lake Eufaula
Last Thursday through Sunday I was blessed to attend a fabulous retreat at Lake Eufaula with ten other members of my local ACFW Chapter. The home we were able to stay in, thanks to our lovely treasurer Shannon, was gorgeous and the property was literally lake front. Our vice-president, Kat, had an airtight itinerary guaranteed to ensure we made maximum use of our time. All the meals were preselected and we rotated cooking.
Our retreat Cabin

Sound rigid? Originally, I thought, whoa, there is no way I want to be on a schedule that regimented. I’m a night owl, no way I will ever make it up that early in the morning for breakfast. Then I learned we were expected to read five pages aloud on both Friday and Saturday evening! Whoa, I didn’t sign up for this.

Jessica Preparing to Read her five pages
Guess what? I made it to breakfast every morning. I read five pages aloud both Friday and Saturday night. I didn’t read for entertainment. I threw myself into my writing and at night late in my room I only read craft articles. I marveled at the talent of the other ten authors. They inspired me and I revised more of my manuscript in those few short days then I had managed in months.

I hope I developed new friendships at the retreat. Relationships that will continue to flourish. I found joy in discussing scenes and plots with others. It was the perfect atmosphere to see if ideas or changes made sense. I watched one friend begin a new novel and her tenacity and attention to detail impressed me. When she read her five pages Saturday evening, they nearly brought me to tears. I’m can’t wait to read her entire book.

I’m still pumped and busy revising. Can I revise eight hours a day like I did during the retreat? No, I’m back in the real world now. However, I can revise every day. I can still set goals, and Lord willing I can meet those goals.

Partial Group Shot
A few takeaways from the retreat: it’s wonderful to be with a group you can pray with; there is life without television; we were in the country and quiet can be a good thing; I can sit and revise or write for more hours than I thought possible; accountability is a good thing; and being with other writers is nourishment for my soul.

View from my balcony
If your local chapter hasn’t hosted a writing retreat then see about organizing one for your group with the help of a couple of buddies. If you have an opportunity to attend a writing retreat go for it! Two of my friends practically had to browbeat me into attending this one and missing it would have been a huge mistake.

Have you attended a writing retreat? If so, tell me all about it. Where was it? Was it beneficial? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Terri Weldon feels blessed to be a full time writer. She enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in the Heartland of the United States. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and RWA.

Readers can connect with Terri on her Website