Going on a retreat for your writing is important in building your confidence.
It is not simply about getting away from it all, rather it is about growing as a writer in the best way possible. Admittedly, almost any writer needs a break, but it’s how you take your break that matters. In this case, a mentor can help show you the way, and can connect you will others who have the same vision as you do. It’s not easy being the new kid on the block (as the saying goes.) You spend an incredible amount of time working to get people to see you and read your book. The very book you put your heart and soul into. Wouldn’t it help to have somebody telling you what can be made better and better to best?
I took several writing classes; some of them are from Gotham Writers Workshops and Writers Online Workshops. I live in Canada, so to have this opportunity to learn with author is great, especially since it was online. If you read some of my other posts you’ll know my opinions of both online groups. But one of the teachers took the time to comment on my writing more than the rest. Terri Valentine, a romance writer, took the time to tell a novice writer how to make her work better. She mentored me from afar.
The other professional writers have done the same, it changed how , and it changed my view on mentoring.I took several writing classes; some of them are from Gotham Writers Workshops and Writers Online Workshops. I live in Canada, so to have this opportunity to learn with author is great, especially since it was online. If you read some of my other posts you’ll know my opinions of both online groups. But one of the teachers took the time to comment on my writing more than the rest. Terri Valentine, a romance writer, took the time to tell a novice writer how to make her work better. She mentored me from afar. The other professional writers have done the same, it changed how I viewed my writing, and it changed my view on mentoring.
It blossomed from there. I fell under a spell of wanting to write and wanting to make myself a more professional writer. The Toni Morrison quote was the start of how I thought about writing, I needed to write. Then I began to think, how has these retreats and mentoring helped me. I decided that I needed a mentor who was closer to my area. At this point I stumbled upon the incredible idea to get an editor for my writing, and I found the perfect person. She was going to look for an editor for me, but decided, as the fates would have it to edit her. She is strong and articulated, and one who is willing to tell me where my technique needs improvement. Does this mean that I will be working under her for many years?
Does my willingness to change how I write come from learning about mentoring and going on personal and professional writing retreats?
Yes, it does. It has channeled my views on writing and on how I write. It has made an impact in terms of what I read to how I write to what I choose to work with each day. Reading has become as much a focal point in my writing as going on retreats and hearing and learning from others. In part, mentoring to me has become a lot more of a
I’m thankful to have worked under so many great authors and to have many great mentors. It all began with a retreat, two writing classes. It didn’t take much, simply time and a bit of money, but my life as a writer is transformed. Taking time to actually look at my writing was important. What was more important was the fact I spent time, and effort looking at what I did not like about my writing. There wasn’t a challenge to this per say, but what it did was force me to look at how I was as a writer, and what I needed to do to grow, without telling me specifically. That’s part of what a mentor does, but there is more. They also suggest ways in a blunt a means possible to you about your writing.
Isn’t that what a mentor and retreats are supposed to do?
That is exactly what they are supposed to do. I was committed, and I spent the money. It was worth it for me because I was convinced I needed my mentors for each stage of my journey. I also needed to take a moment and learn what it meant to be a well rounded writer. It doesn’t take much to grow and develop how you view yourself as a person and a writer if you have someone to help you, but it takes a lot longer if you don’t.
The investment you make can only help you. The connections you gain with your writing will make your life easier, and will build relationships with other writing peers. The retreat is designed not to build on a mentor/student relationship, but on relationships with your peers. They are in the same grey area as you are, some might be bloggers, or writers or do something in the field of writing, but they aren’t as larger than life as a mentor might be. They are with you on your writing journey. The retreat is the means to do exactly that find your peers and build on your connections.
They are the people who will tell you that you are on the right track.
They are the people who will show you how much work goes into becoming a professional writer.
These peers are the ones you will see time and again who will grow with you.
These are the peers who, years from now you will see if you were the one who made it or not.
Retreats can be in person, and aiming for at least one writing retreat in person as often as you can provides valuable insight.
It’s important to go to as many retreats as you can afford and also learn from them. Taking notes while there will help, and observe others who are there. If you can’t go to a retreat it’s just as important to go to ones online such Gotham Writers who offer both online and offline classes- or retreats for you.