Terrible Writer’s Retreat Location
The concept of a writer’s retreat is intriguing, but the ones I’ve read about wouldn’t work for me at all. Not due to budget or time, it’s the location and setup that are all wrong. Attention organizers! Here’s what I need:
- Sequester me in a suite in a crime-infested area where I’m likely to be killed if I leave, or somewhere with horrific weather that makes me glad to stay in.
- Give me only one hour of internet access per day.
- Let me earn entertainment “points” by producing word count. To earn enough points for 2 hours of movie-watching privileges, I’ll need to produce 5, 000 words.
- Deliver meals through a slot in the door. No interaction, no disruption.
- Do not let me leave until I’m done.
Under these circumstances I’d be highly motivated to finish so I could go home.
I don’t understand why people would go to a writer’s retreat in a lovely ocean-side resort or other enticing location. The LAST thing I’d want to do if I were in one of those places would be to stay inside and write. Dangle that weekend getaway in front of me as my reward for finishing, but don’t expect me to feel inspired to do anything but go outside if you set me up somewhere beautiful.
Is it just me? These retreats seem to be popular, but I just don’t get it. To me, they’re the worst possible circumstances to get anything done.
After freaking out over my NaNoWriMo project and almost abandoning it, my writer friends talked me off the ledge at brunch Sunday so I buckled down Sunday afternoon and cranked out 5,000 more words to get back in the game.
Monday I lost everything I’d done Sunday.
And it was my fault.
I didn’t follow the proper protocol for file naming on the laptop, there was a mixup with old folders with same names, and… *poof* all gone.
Distraught, I stumbled down to the robot lab in tears mumbling ‘laptop’ and ‘all gone.’
After stabilizing me with a couple of hugs, E put down his chain saw or whatever he was doing, went upstairs and somehow managed to cobble together bits of files from the laptop and my memory key and was able to piece back together what I’d lost. I have no idea how he did it, but he’s officially my hero!!!
So, I’m telling you, IT guys are the new firefighters. I mean what are the odds of you actually starting a 5-alarm blaze? The only accidental fire I ever started was when I tried to sterilize a sponge in the microwave (bad plan).
Having your IT guy sprint up the stairs, roll up his sleeves, tell you not to worry and retrieve your 5,000 words is priceless.
He doesn’t do it for the glory or for the chicks, he does it for the Nanaimo bars. I owe him a big batch : )
Originally posted November 2009