Tomorrow I'm heading off to East Sussex for a weekend writing retreat. Now, once I've given my anxiety monster a good talking to, I'm rather looking forward to it. Admittedly there's the usual guilt about leaving the boys to fend for themselves for a couple of days but I'm sure I'll get over that! So what am I hoping to get from the weekend?
I have only been on one writing retreat before and that was many, many years ago. So I'm not an expert and I don't have anything to compare it to but I am hoping to get some time to write (obviously!) in both a structured way and in a free way. It's one of the banes of my writer's life that sitting down to write comes with a whole bucket full of guilt - should I be spending this time more productively? Am I being selfish sitting and indulging in a bit of writing? I must stress that neither of these are things that anyone has ever said to me but they are things I say to myself each time I start to write. So having a whole weekend dedicated to nothing but writing and thinking and chatting to other writers is a real treat.
I'm also hoping that by sharing experiences, hopes and frustrations with others I will find a way to improve my writing experiences. The structure of the weekend will determine how much I get to look at my writing schedule and habit but I think some time to reflect on this will do me good.
I'm expecting there to be time to share our writing. Now I can be a little shy about doing this. Let's be honest, everyone else's writing sounds much better than mine so I'm often the last to put her hand up when it comes to sharing. But having the time to get to know people before I have to share should help with my confidence. I know that only by sharing my writing and getting it out into the world will I improve but sometimes that's easier said than done. Maybe the supportive surroundings of other writers will make the process a little less stressful for me.
I'm also looking forward to hearing about everyone's writing journey. We should be a mixed bunch so there will be many experiences to learn about and hopefully tips and contacts as well. Writing can be a solitary pursuit so the chance to hear how other people go about things should be enlightening and perhaps even fun!
Most of all I'm hoping to spend a pleasant weekend with some good company, to do some serious writing and to focus more on what I want to write and what I want to achieve through my writing. So wish me luck as I embark on a voyage of discovery and come back next week to find out how it went and what I learned.