Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Ruth Weeks, me, Jan Morrill

Over the years, I’ve developed many meaningful relationships with my writer friends. Especially with five of those friends. Over the years our friendship has deepened. We even formed a group called, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen. We travel together and conduct workshops for writing groups and speak at writers' conferences. Our group of five has now dwindled to three due to health issues and long-distance moves. Even so, Jan Morrill, Ruth Weeks, and I are still traveling helping writers anywhere we can.

However, there is one thing we do for ourselves—we make time during the year for a writing retreat. Marvelous things happen when we do this. We leave refreshed, inspired, encouraged, full of new ideas, and have solutions to things that have stumped us.

We normally spend two nights together at one of our homes, or we rent a cabin somewhere. It doesn’t have to be expensive. That said, we are saving to someday go on a cruise together. WATCH OUT NEW ORLEANS!

Below is what a typical ‘Sisterhood’ retreat consists of:

·      Time spent daydreaming. Have you read Debbie Macomber’s book, Twenty Wishes? In it the characters make a list of twenty things they want to happen no matter how outrageous or impossible it seemed. (This is a fun read, by the way). Well, we sorta do that. At one of our retreats a few years ago we made dream boards. I wrote on mine that I wanted to teach writing in the United Kingdom. That wish actually came true this past August!

·      Writing Exercises. Each of us come prepared with a writing exercise to share. Once Jan had us write a letter from our character to us. But she added a twist. We had to write with the opposite hand than what we normally used. Wow. It really slowed us down and made us listen to our character.

·      Creative Art Projects. We usually do an art project. It doesn’t have to be major. Ruth brought adult coloring books and colored pencils. It was fun! We spent time talking about writerly things and discuss life in general. One year we made collages. Fun!

·      We take long walks in nature and explore. We shoot pictures, write thoughts, observations, poems, and descriptions we might use later.

·      Free time. Of course, there is also time spent alone to do whatever we want. We might write, nap, or read.  I like to take long walks and chat with my Abba Father.

·      Eat gooood food! Oh, how WE EAT! Enough said about that!

·      Laugh out loud. We laugh too. Sometimes till tears spill down our faces. So cathartic and good for the soul.

·      Do a bit of whining. We also share our frustrations. In our circle of three, we are safe. Not only are we each other’s sounding boards, we are also there to speak the truth and offer encouragement and advice.

If you have a couple of writerly friends, why not give this a try?  It is good for the soul and great for your writing!
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