This last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a retreat with Branli Caidryn and LK Gardner-Griffe for a weekend of writing in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. I have to say that the retreat was sorely needed. I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump lately with events at home thwarting me—when I came back home, I had a headache within hours, and my neck became very sore.
I believe surrounding oneself with writer friends is essential for any writer. It is simply a good idea to surround yourself with people who you want to be like and/or share an aspect of your personality. Writer’s are ‘strange’ folk to non-writers, and if you have friends that aren’t writers, I’m sure you get the “you are crazy” look more than once.
This past weekend I wrote 4500 words in my current novel, which gave me the courage to finish chapter 4 today. This puts me solidly past 1/4 of the way through. I also edited eight stories—mostly short shorts— and that has given me courage to submit them for publication. I haven’t submitted much in the past six months.
For those of you know I received rejection letters from 9/10 schools. Friday, before the retreat, I received the final rejection letter. I will not be attending graduate school this year. I’ve come to understand that this is for the best. There is something I still have to do/learn before I can continue on. I think that be living the life of a writer right now, I can succeed more in graduate school. I still hope to attend in 2012, but I know I still have a journey ahead of me. The retreat gave me insight that I needed: no matter what happens in my life, I must always write and never give up.