Adventures in Writing (Part 1)

View of my room on Saturday Afternoon..
if the glare wasn't there on the compture screen,
you'd all get a chance to critique my WIP.. but alas.. 
 So, this past weekend I did my very first personal writing retreat.. the plan was to spend Friday evening, all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning at a hotel about 10 minutes from my house.. no distractions, no TV, no internet.. just me, my notes, and my computer.

So of course, as we all know when you have kids.. it all went exactly like that.. no possible way anything could happen to throw a monkey wrench into my weekend, especially when I've prepaid for the hotel room, right?

So.. Friday night was good.  Not incredibly word count productive.. but good.  Everybody has their way of brainstorming things, their thing that switches on their writing mentality.  I know Brandon Mull (author of Fablehaven) takes long walks with his wife to talk about the plot of his story.. I've heard of a few other things.. some people go for long drives, some go workout.. for me, (and oddly enough I think one of the Writing Excuses crew.. Howard Taylor I believe), what I've found that works best for me is.. a long hot soak, (preferrably a hot tub or jacuzzi, but a bathtub will suffice if I have to), and a Diet Pepsi.

So Friday night I got my room set up, clothes stashed, food stocked in the fridge, (the room had a real nice kitchenette), batteries taken out of the remote control and sent home w/ my better half & kids who dropped me off.. all in all everything was set up exactly as needed.

View from the bed. I moved the table from the
 kitchen to be on the carpet, otherwise every time
I got up it made a horrible screeching sound when
I scooted back, plus I liked having the light
 directly above me in the evening.
Then.. I loaded the tub with hot-hot water, grabbed a pop, and plopped in to mull over my outline and plot in my head.  It's a great way to relax and yet gather my thoughs.  Alas.. no bubbles.. but it was still a great start to the weekend.

I wrote a bit that night, around 1100 words or so.. nothing big, but enough so that I could get a rolling start on Saturday.  I did have a little bit of a hard time sleeping that night.. weird bed, hard pillows, sound of cars on street outside.. usual travel complaints, but I think I finally konked out around 1am.

Then on Saturday I hit the ground running. I was up and writing at 8:30, (after breakfast and a shower).  I wrote in stretches of about 3.5 hours. Anything more than that and I started to wander a little in my focus.. but I stayed pretty solid.  By the end of the day I'd logged just under 11,000 words. I was very happy with that.. I figured my minimum word count of 25k words for the weekend would be a breeze.

--- Then.. the storm hit on Sunday morning.  I'll go over that in my next post, and give an update on both the WIP and the aftermath of Hurricane Hiatt.


  1. I've kicked around doing a me-myself-and-I retreat at a local hotel. Sounds like you hit some productivity. That's great. I would have to find a place with no wifi. Seriously. Distracting.

  2. I've thought about a do it myself retreat like that. I don't think hubby would be too keen on it though.

    Talk about a cliffhanger though.

  3. This is SO NEAT, Kevin! I'm so happy you were able to do this. It's so essential to have these moments when you can shut out the world and truly be absorbed in writing. Way to rock those 11,000 words! Seriously awesome. :D

  4. I tried this once and the solitude was wonderful, but the room didn't have a real desk chair for the desk! I barely was able to get comfortable to write. Next time, I'll be more selective and ask about that up front.


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