What A Retreat Is All About
With all this talk about classes and lectures I've failed to touch upon the best part of a retreat. That is, of course, your book. It's a week of precious time with your manuscript, something you will not get at home unless you're a hermit without a job, family, or technology. Not to say I don't get distracted at a retreat, obviously I'm blogging, but this break with technology is exactly that, a break. The rest of the day I'll spend with my work.
So what exactly is a day at a retreat like? We have the option of attending a morning lecture, many of which you've read me blog about. I love to attend these because I wake up thinking about my book and want to start learning right away. The lectures are giving by great writers, many of which are New York Times bestsellers or prize winners of some sort or another. I learn something from every lecture.
After that I get to sit in a classroom with ten of my peers and William Bernhardt, not only a New York Times Bestseller (and well earned folks, this guy writes an outstanding thriller!) but an exceptional teacher. This week we've been working our way through three chapters, our synopsis, and query letters. One cannot be shy. Bill has been reading our work out loud to the class! The feedback is fantastic and well worth the pulse pounding moment of trepidation. Getting the opinion of eight of your peers, and a master of the craft is priceless.
Aside from sharing our work and giving feedback, Bill has been entertaining us with excellent lectures on the craft of writing. Often he'll look at me and say, 'now Heather, you can't blog about this!' before telling a great anecdote or story. If only I could tell you! But alas, some things stay in the classroom.
The day is then wrapped up with another group lecture, then we're off to battle up our mountain of homework. I love every second of it, especially the homework. Speaking of lectures, it's that time so I'm off.