I participated in a getaway with a group of writers this past weekend. Ours was a different kind of weekend getaway—a working weekend getaway. The getaway part involved removing ourselves from the typical household distractions writers—women writers in particular—encounter on a daily basis. We left our homes and their distractions behind beginning on a Friday afternoon, and then our “Write In” began.
There were twelve weekend warrior writers in all. Once we arrived at Lily Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast, our huge yet cozy retreat venue for the weekend, the first order of business involved setting our writing goals for the weekend. Everyone’s goals were posted; there would be accountability. We were there to write and write we did. We helped one another too, doing a bit of brainstorming here and there.
Everyone eschewed the formal and fashionable and adopted the casual and comfortable. Baggy clothes we would never wear in public and sneakers or fuzzy sleep socks and slippers were the order of the day.
Some of us didn’t bother to apply makeup—it was Halloween weekend, so no one was the least bit frightened. Some of us unapologetically sported bed hair in the morning. Some of us didn’t bother to take time out to shower when they could use the time to write instead.
We ate and drank whenever and whatever we wanted. We had no curfew. We wrote as much or as little as we were able, alone in our rooms or in the common areas beside someone else. Not once did we watch television. I doubt anyone missed it. I didn’t.
Our intrepid group got together at mealtime for food, fun, and fellowship. Trust me when I say we ate well. Too well. We all brought way too much food from home to share during the write in, all of it too delicious to pass up. [It’s been three days, and I still haven’t mustered the courage to step onto my bathroom scale.]
Our room assignments varied, as did the unique room layouts. A few had their own private rooms. Others of us had roommates. My roommate and I were in Treehouse 1, aptly named because the room was on the second floor up a long ::gasp:: seemingly endless flight of stairs. That may have been a good thing because going up and down those stairs was the only exercise we got all weekend, a break from sitting on our hind ends for hours while we wrote.
The write in was a huge success, at once energizing and relaxing, productive and fun. I’m delighted and proud to report that the members of our group either met their stated goals [I met mine!] or achieved at least seventy percent worth. All of us were sorry to see the weekend come to an end and wanted to stay longer. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to make it an annual event.
Given the laid back ambiance of our write in weekend, in many respects it strikes me that it could very well be the literary and slightly more refined equivalent of a hunter’s deer camp. Or not.