For the last three days I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the "Writing Retreat of Joy and Awesomeness" with Ruth, Peggy, Jeigh, Suzi (Jeigh's mom), Kim, Sandy, and last, most definitely not least, the retreat coordinator extraordinaire, Katie. This was just a group of writing friends/bloggers who decided to get away from our families and focus on writing for three days in Park City. Let me tell you, it was freakin' fantastic! We had way too much fun, ate way too much food, stayed up way too late, spent way too much time in the lukewarm tub (aka hot tub), and learned way too much about one another. And I also wrote more in three days than I have in six months. Alas, we have no photos to adorn this post because the only pictures I took I promised not to post (people in pajamas, and glasses, and no showers, etc.) and the other pictures are completely inappropriate for your gentle, uncorrupted eyes.
While we were there we held writing sprints where we would take 30-45 minutes and all of us would just write like crazy. It was really fun to look around and see between six and eight people sitting in the room, each with a laptop, most with headphones in, just typing away like crazy. We don't have any photos of the sprints because none of us wanted to sacrifice the word count to take the time to take a picture. The winner of each sprint (in word count) won a prize. I don't mean to brag but I won every sprint. Oh, wait, I did mean to brag. What really did it for me was just letting go of my inner editor and letting my outer competitor take over. I am painfully competitive and I really, really wanted to win. Most of the time when I write I take forever because I want to make sure everything is perfect. These sprints allowed me to just get my story written and then I can go back and perfect it later. I really needed to learn that skill.
At the end of the weekend we were to crown the Queen of Joy and Awesomeness. This title was for the person who wrote the most over the weekend. We had an awesome prize pack for the winner, including a tiara (seen below), blingy earrings and bracelet to match the tiara, a bedazzled t-shirt (also seen below), glittery eye shadow, royal chocolate, and flowers that the maintenance people gave us (long story).
As of the night prior to the end of competition I was about 600 words behind the leader. So I stayed up super late to get in the lead before our final sprint of the competition. And I came out as the winner. I had my coronation ceremony after the completion and my daughter loves all my prizes. In three days I wrote 16017 words! Crazy, right? Before I left my WIP was at 8889 words and I now have 24906 words. I am so happy. I feel like I can finally get this story told. I came back motivated, revitalized and ready to go. I also made some friendships that will last a lifetime! I was truly amazed by the skill that each of these ladies possesses.
If any of you ever have the opportunity to attend a writing retreat I would not hesitate at all. It was the best thing I could have ever done for my writing.