Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writing Retreat Recharge

Post by Kerrie Flanagan

A little over a week ago was our annual Northern Colorado Writers retreat. Me and twelve other members headed to the beautiful Sylvan Dale Ranch, just west of Loveland, Colorado. We traveled to this oasis for an undisturbed weekend of writing and camaraderie.

This is the third year I organized the retreat, and this year was the most productive for me. I went with some specific goals in mind and that really helped. Susan Jessup, one of the owners of the Ranch, talked to us at breakfast one morning about the magic of Sylvan Dale and this year I really felt it. Plus the amount of creative energy flowing around the place from 13 writers was hard to escape. So when you put all that together, it is no wonder I was able to crank out 6 queries and still make sure the retreat ran smoothly.

It is difficult to paint the magic of the weekend with words, so I will show you with photos.
Sylvan Dale always shows us some good old-fashioned western hospitality
The Wagon Wheel Bunkhouse where all 13 of us stayed
Our favorite cowboy, David Jessup; co-owner of Sylvan Dale and NCW member.
He joined us on Friday night for a glass of wine.
Some of us hanging out by the fire after an amazing dinner and a few hours of writing.

Taking a break from writing for some games of Banagrams

Amazing river art created by a ranch visitor a couple weeks earlier
Everyone spread out on Saturday for our 8 hours of uninterrupted writing time.  There were plenty of great places all over the Ranch to work.

I love pictures with paths because it reminds me that new opportunities await

The retreat totally recharged my batteries. I sent off my 6 queries and am excited about writing again. I think all writers should do a retreat at least once a year.

Some of the other retreaters blogged about their experiences. Here are the links to those posts:

April Joitel-My (Vegan) Retreat
Patricia Stoltey-What’s So Great about a Writers’ Retreat?
Mim Neal-Resurrection

Have you ever been on a writing retreat? How was it?



Charmaine Clancy said...

A writer's retreat sounds marvellous! I love that you organise your own.

Patricia Stoltey said...

As always, I came away with renewed energy and enthusiasm for what I do here in my little office. It's surprising what one weekend in perfect surroundings with great writers and lots of quiet can do for the writer's soul.

Kerrie said...

Charmaine, a retreat is not that hard to organize. I am happy to offer you any tips if you want.
Well said Pat.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I forgot to mention how excellent your photos are. I just wrote a guest post for another blog about the writer's eye and how learning about attention to detail can also make us better photographers. I think your photos help prove my point.

Michele said...

I had a great time on retreat! Meeting fellow writers and getting wise counsel from the experienced members. I came up with a fabulous idea and recharged batteries. Thank you fellow writers and Kerrie for such great retreat. See you next year

bfav said...

That looks like so much (productive) fun. I'm jealous. My kids kept me from going.

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