Wow, what an incredible weekend. One that has left me near brain dead, but also full of inspiration, drive and this sparkling shred of hope that maybe I really can do this.
I was lucky enough to spend the past Wednesday – Monday with five other (ah-mazing) women as we slaved our way through plots for our next (first, in my case) fully polished novels. Brought together by Cherry Adair‘s Master Class Writing retreat, the idea was that Cherry would teach us the tricks of plotting by color and then we’d do some writing (at least, that’s how I understood it). Oh no, we spent close to 9 hours a day over Fri/Sat/Sun as we worked through each person’s plot. Some pretty much know what they wanted and already had their stories mapped out extremely well. Some of us (read: me) had this vague idea of some characters and what might happen, but zero clue on how to get from point A to point B.
Well no, that’s a little bit of a lie. Let’s bring that back a bit. It’s scary shit to share something that comes from your inner creative… being. You can bake a cake and everyone can tell if you’ve put too much salt or not enough sugar in, but with something like a story, it’s up to interpretation. It’s hard enough to share ideas with fellow retreat authors (we at least had two nights to get to know each other better, play CAD, and drink enough wine to really relax), but the idea of sharing in front of an author who has sold a bajillion books is SCARY. So when she asked about my idea, I approached it with the vaguest idea of what I had, rather than “this is my imagined start, middle and end…” I couldn’t put it all out there because:
What if I suck?
What if my ideas blow?
What if she tells me that writing isn’t my jam and I should just go home?
I mean, logically, I didn’t think she’d actually say these things (and she didn’t) but these are the things that ran on a loop through my head as she’s sitting across from me saying, “okay, what’s your story?”
Six hours later, I’ve got a pretty story board with some pretty legit ideas for book two in the series I’ve dreamed up. I’ve got new characters, new drama and now I need to go home and rework book one.
And then I drank wine and put myself to bed early (11:30 while some stayed up until 2am) because my brain was two sizes too big for my skull with all the new information. Ouch.
In the end, this was probably one of the most reaffirming moments in my ‘career vs hobby’ writing habit.
Not only do you have to want it, you have to do it.
You have to write it.
You have to share it.
Two of the women I was with have blogs/websites. Check them out at: