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A Retreat to Refresh Myself and My Writer’s Soul

I spent last weekend at a campground outside of Racine, Missouri for the semi-annual writers’ retreat that I love to attend. The picturesque, bucolic setting always feeds my writing mojo, and this time was no different. Peace and tranquility is enhanced by a spring-fed pond, rolling hills, and beautiful trees.

I accomplished a great deal of writing, including revising a short story for a competition. It’s a story I wrote last year for an Ozarks Creative Writers Conference contest. While I loved my original story, and it placed first in its category, I relished the opportunity to revise it for this new contest.

You may be wondering why I wanted to change my story at all. The difference is in the word requirements. I was allowed 2000 words for the first contest. The second contest allows me up to 7500 words, which gives me a great deal more room to expand the story and add more description.

I can write short and concise, but I’m much better with longer prose. The larger word count allows me to develop my characters more. I like to take my time and thoroughly describe the setting. When I saw the guidelines for the new contest, I nearly jumped for joy.

The retreat isn’t just a quiet place to write for four days. It’s an event that offers much needed comradery with other writers. Visiting with like-minded people is a balm to my often misunderstood soul. I feel soothed and accepted during the retreat. Consequently, I feel better about myself, and my creativity blooms like a spring rose. I get a lot of writing done, and it’s usually some of my best work.

The only schedule I have to keep is mealtime. I go to bed when I want, get up when I want, and do what I want. If I feel like walking down to the pond and staring into the water, I can do that. If I feel like scrolling through Facebook for hours on end, I can do that, too. This time of year is precious to me and quite liberating. After four days of writerly pursuits, I am refreshed and ready to deal with the real world again.

It’s important to take a little time for myself. It’s like rebooting a computer – everything works better afterward.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.


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