Why Go To A Writers Retreat?

As I mentioned in my last progress update post, I applied for the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat last weekend.  The application fee by itself was $25, but room and board for the week are $800 each, and I would also have to fly out to LA and physically get to the retreat.  There’s no guarantee that I will be accepted.  But even if I am accepted, why would I shell out upwards of $2,000 in room, board, and traveling costs to do some writing?

This was definitely a question I asked myself as I was filing out my application, while I was looking at needs-based scholarships that I’m sure I wouldn’t qualify for, and applying for an Editor of the Anthology Scholarship/position that I’m not sure I’ll receive.  So it’s very possible that I will end up being accepted and pay out of pocket to attend.  So why.

In the first place, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to get together with people who are specifically writing what I am writing (YA with queer characters).  I get a lot of writing energy from networking online with other queer writers, and I get a lot of writing energy from networking with other writers generally in person, so I imagine the energy from meeting queer writers in person will be immense.  In the second place, I saw that the mentor for the YA group was Malinda Lo several months ago when I began considering the retreat.  That is really what tipped me over the edge.  In the third place, the organization is Lambda Literary, instead of a for-profit writing retreat.  Not that I think that for-profit writing retreats are bad, writers gotta pay their bills, but the purpose of the organization definitely played a part in deciding to apply.

In the fourth place, think of how much work I can get done while having all that fun!

So in the end, I talked myself into doing it.  This is probably not something that would become a regular thing for me, if only because I couldn’t afford it to.  But I think something this targeted, with a good organization, is something I can save up and make an exception for.

Friday Progress Update

The lack of progress update last weekend was due to an emergency at the day job infringing on my weekend. So today I’ll have to give two weeks’ worth of updates!

I finished NaNoWriMo at 78,923 words. While that’s an impressive amount of words, I barely wrote during the final week and I didn’t finish my novel. I got stuck trying to get from Where The Characters Are to The End.

I spent some time working on the problem, and I now have an outline that should get me there. I’m hoping to finish the book by the end of December.

I have a mass of writing-related plans for when I get there. In approximate order:

  • apply for the Lambda Literary writers’ retreat in August 2017, applications are due in January
  • research agents for submitting the Plague Novel and work on new submissions
  • research creating a Patreon for self-publishing my short stories
  • revise the Flight novel
  • research sites seeking essay submissions and consider submitting essays

You’ll note that resubmitting my short stories to web-magazines is not on that list. The amount of time that I invest there doesn’t seem worth the possible rewards at this point.

Besides, I have a Web serial idea kicking around in my head and I think I would much rather look into the Patreon aspect for publishing short fiction, since I think that might be a good platform for publishing something like that.

To make a long story short, despite rejections and setbacks, writing progress continues.