Friday, 30 October 2015

How do you Prepare for a Writing Retreat?

Sheffield Park and Garden
This half-term has been filled with family walks; and making soup, biscuits and crumble. Plus I've ploughed my way through most of a hard-going, but informative eighteenth century journal and worked on my novel during spare moments. Next week it will be back to the school run, sourcing bits of costume for Christmas productions, using the art of persuasion to get homework done; and of course my neetsmarketing work.

Over the years, I’ve been on a few writing retreats and I can’t wait to escape to a cottage next weekend with my favourite group of writing friends. This time though, my approach will be different because apart from ensuring there is a substantial supply of Prosecco and crisps, I’ll know what I’m working on before I arrive. On the past couple of retreats, I’ve spent much of the time planning and reading research, but now my work in progress is progressing at its fastest rate for a while because I’ve fine-tuned the plot by writing previous drafts.

The finish line for Book 2 is finally approaching, and I want to make the most of two days with zero distraction, where I don’t have to justify time spent writing. This week, my aim is to find a couple of hours every day to write, so it won’t take long to get into the zone when I arrive (once we’ve consumed the Prosecco and crisps, of course). So off I go to write...see you in November.

In other news, booking is open for:

The Historical Novel Society Conference in Oxford, 2-4 September 2016!

View from the Mathematical Institute, Oxford
Photo used with kind permission of Lorna Fergusson
I'm Publicity Officer for the next HNS conference, where keynote speakers include Melvyn Bragg, Fay Weldon, Tracy Chevalier and Kate Williams. The conference will kick off on Friday night with a drinks reception to include a special event with Fay Weldon in conversation with Jo Baker about writing the Big House story. The Saturday night Gala dinner will include a costume pageant, plus historical suspense readings to follow. This is just a hint of what's on that weekend; and you can find out more and book via the website. I'm also the HNS Social Media Manager, and you can follow the HNS on Twitter @histnovsoc, and on Facebook.

Previous neetswriter posts:

neetsmarketing posts (my blog on social media for writers and book marketing):

How Can Writers Use their Photos on Social Media? (covers Instagram and Pinterest)
Liz Fenwick on Using Twitter to Connect with Readers


  1. I've never been to a writing retreat but can certainly see the benefits - a quiet time away without the constant distractions of home.

    1. Yes, Wendy-looking forward to it! It's lovely going with friends who can have a glass of wine with in the evenings too. Thanks for visiting :-)

  2. I'm going on a writing retreat with a friend at the end of the week, and having been on a few in the past can attest to their usefulness. Like you suggest, Anita, I plan what I'm doing before I go, and then it's full steam ahead.

    1. Hope you have a great, productive time on your retreat Francesca! Thanks for visiting :-)