Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To Write or To Retreat? (or Enjoy the Silence*)

With apologies to Depeche Mode (XOXO)*

Tip of the day: There are four days left to register for this SCBWI novel-writing retreat in the Adirondaks!

The Falling Leaves Masterclass Retreat at the Silver Bay YMCA in the Adirondaks of New York looks lovely. (See link above.) Beautiful setting in fall, driveable location from home, five editors to chat with, one of whom will crit 20 pages of your novel....ahhhh! Bliss! I am SO CLOSE to just sending in my registration to hope I make it in. In fact, my fingers are twitching now as I resist printing out the registration form.

The reasons I'm hesitatnt to reply? Here's my thoughts:

1. The weekend before I will be in Albuquerque for the YALSA Symposium, so how many YA writerly/readerly/librariany indulgences do I need and/or want to travel to? Will things at work get crazy if I take off that much time when I know the end of the huge art contest is around then?

2. Will I be satisfied with just a 25-minute critique from an editor who may not even be interested in my type of writing (from the luck of the pairing draw)? Will it feel worth it when I have an agent who might be able to give me similar feedback?

3. Do I need to spend $350 or so to be surrounded by YA writerly folks and to actually get some writing done?

4. Would it be more useful to just block off that weekend at home for my own writing time, tell the manpanion to stay out of the Writer Room, or would I lose my drive and wish I was at the retreat?


Readers, what helps you decide what events like this to attend?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Alissa said...

For me I think I have a much easier time writing in familiar surroundings, but it is a matter of blocking out distractions and keeping my focus - not always easy things to do.

DeenaML said...

Alissa -- YES! I can write better with my "comforts of home" but it's hard not to feel like you should be doing something else (cleaning, socializing, etc.).

Kate Fall said...

With 2 young kids, I find it almost impossible not to feel like I should be doing something else at home! I try to plan out in advance what trips I want to take during the year, and then do my best to put the spur of the moment desires out of my mind.

DeenaML said...

Kate, you're right that with parental responsibilities, you can't just up and leave on the spur of the moment to go to such retreats. But planning ahead for them is usually doable since SCBWI does post well in advance for everyone who does need to prepare child care options.

Speaking of which, have you heard from Rutgers yet????