by Ronie Kendig
Writing out a tip sheet about preparing for a Writer’s Retreat seems . . . odd. I mean, you’re retreating to write. Right? So what on earth do you need to prepare? Believe it or not, more than you’d expect.
1. PREPARE YOUR FAMILY – We all have responsibilities of one kind or another that we’ll be leaving behind to gather with like-minded authors, so preparing those you leave behind is important. Getting together prepared meals for the spouse and/or children left behind is a good start, along with writing out schedules (we homeschooling moms understand this!). What about pets left behind? Getting this lined up about a week before the retreat will take a load off you mind and heart . . . and allow you to . . .
2. PREPARE YOUR BODY – Rest up as much as possible. While we won’t be taking to the street of Orlando for a marathon, our minds will be quite the workout. Science has proven that active learning takes a physical toll, so rest, drink water, and eat healthy (at least one meal, right?).
3. PREPARE YOUR MIND – Really, this one points back to the previous one, because eating right, drinking water, and exercise all help the mind. Exercise oxygenates your mind and gets it firing better. But preparing your mind also refers to your expectations. Decide what you want to get out of the conference, but preferably—come with an open mind. Topics will be presented in ways you perhaps haven’t heard before, maybe things will be said you’re not sure you agree with. But if you maintain an open mind, you are better primed to learn. No matter what stage we’re at in our writing, we all have things to learn and should actively seek ways to improve ourselves and our craft.
4. PREPARE YOUR WORK – The Realm Makers Retreat is focused around hands-on learning, meaning we’ll be putting into practice what is taught during workshop hours. Having been in a workshop like this myself, I found having two different stories to work with beneficial and thwarted frustration. One story already had a solid foundation, so there were elements taught that either were not necessary/applicable (for one reason or another) or would have required a much-involved process to implement. Therefore, having a second story where only skeletal ideas had been sketched allowed more freedom to experiment and implement the instructor’s suggestions.
5. PREPARE YOUR REWARDS – Okay, if you know me, you know I am a rewards-based writer. I need those little rewards along the route to keep me motivated and advancing toward my goal. Perhaps have a daily reward planned for yourself (for no other reason than having survived each day), but definitely have a planned reward when you return home. Three days of workshop intensives deserved a nice dinner or other reward!
After the retreat, give yourself time to breathe and process. The workshop will have a rigorous schedule with both teaching and writing. But most of all, make sure that you celebrate YOU and your willingness to better your craft.
About the Author
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of over twenty titles. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband live a short train ride from New York City with their children, VVolt N629 (retired military working dog) and Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters. Visit Ronie online at: www.roniekendig.com