If you look to the left, you'll see a photo of a group of women. They're smiling. Why? The photo was taken at WARA's Fall Mini-Retreat, held last Saturday.
I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy one of WARA's weekend retreats or mini-retreats. If I had to count how many I've attended, I wouldn't get it right. I've been a member of WARA for most of the past 17 years. Although there have been a few times we've had to skip having a retreat, there have been many. For me, they're a must-not-miss.
Retreats, whether over a weekend or only just a day, are a kick-in-the-backside. A good kick-in-the-backside! Not only is it a chance to hear where others are with their writing, but a time to Talk Writing. Those who aren't writers have difficulty understanding people who hear voices in their heads. Those who do write take it for granted and understand that if you aren't hearing those voices or seeing a scene played out in your head, something needs to be done.
It doesn't take much to hit a roadblock in a story. Sometimes a character decides to make decisions or do something the writer never planned. Or sometimes we discover we've written ourselves into a corner and don't know how to get out of it. Talking with others who understand story structure or conflict or goals or motivation are a godsend. Even many non-writers, but voracious readers can only help so much. Writers are a writer's best friend.
Not only are those of us in WARA writer friends, we're also friends who write. Add to it that we have families and the usual activities and difficulties that women (and men) face in the "normal" world, and strong friendships are often made. I have writer friends, within WARA and without, and friends who've never written and don't have a clue what it takes to create fictional people and stories. I value all of them.
So what did we do at the retreat? We brainstormed, we offered suggestions, shared bits of information, had lunch and ATE CAKE that Reece baked and decorated. :) We came away with possible answers to questions and the good feeling of having spent a day with friends. Retreats help fill the well. Who could ask for more?
As for WARA, itself, we've outgrown some things and are adding new. We're looking forward to making our group better and stronger as we continue to make new friends and and meet with long-time friends. Our retreats help with that and our writing.
Start BIC-HOKing, ladies! Pat and I each have a whip. ;)