I just got back from a five day retreat with some very fine writers. It was productive and cozy and fun. Here’s what worked: I brought one manuscript to work on and one book to read. That’s it. I checked email a bit but I only responded to necessary things and only at the end of the day. We brought our own breakfast and lunch stuff and each took a night to cook dinner. At the very beginning of the retreat, we each said what we were working on and what we wanted to accomplish. We did one writing prompt per night. And towards the end, we each shared a portion of our work. It was splendid.

One of my very favorite moments was when I shared my writing anxiety with the others: “Does it always feel like the whole manuscript could fall apart at any moment?” Without exceptions, all of my writing mates laughed and nodded.

Oh, good. I’m normal.

Here is the view from our writing perch: