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Writers' Retreat Comradery

I attend a women's writers' retreat twice a year. I've been going to this retreat since 2015, and it's made all the difference in both my work and me as a writer.

The retreat takes place at a campground in rural Newton County, Missouri. The campground is situated amongst rolling hills, a spring-fed pond feeding into a little creek, and thousands of trees. Wildlife abounds depending upon the time of the year. Birds, squirrels, and deer are quite common neighbors as I write.

While the location is fabulous, it's the other writers who make the retreat special. In fact, I joined two of my favorite writers' groups as a result of meeting members while at the retreat. Thanks to them and their wisdom, I am a far better writer than I was before. I even met my publisher at the retreat.

This time, I worked on a variety of projects. I made great progress on my steamy paranormal romantic suspense novel and significant strides on my Christmas cozy mystery. I also entered a couple short story contests. One of the contests was for my Ozark Romance Authors group, which doesn't offer contests very often. The other was the book cover contest for the Between the Pages Writers Conference (BTP) taking place in June of this year.

I attended BTP a couple years ago when they had their first conference. It was a fun and educational experience. Unfortunately, I had to miss it last year due to a scheduling conflict. I'm quite excited to be attending again this year. The breakout sessions look amazing.

When I decided that I finally needed to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a writer back in 2009, I didn't know any other writers. I'd taken a 20-year hiatus from writing to deal with life's struggles and was something of a fish out of water. I accepted my sister's invitation to attend a Joplin Writers' Guild meeting and met my first group of authors. It was the best thing I've ever done for myself.

Through Joplin Writers' Guild, I met Author Terry McDermid, who has been instrumental in my development and success. She introduced me to writers outside our local area and regional networking opportunities. She also taught a writing for publication class that opened my eyes and mind to a broader range of possibilities. Encouraging me to take chances and cheering for me when I did, she became not only a mentor, but my friend as well.

Terry is the host of our women's writers' retreat. Thanks to her and the retreat, I've accomplished more than I ever thought possible. Not only have I enjoyed some writing success, but I have also developed treasured friendships with some of the most talented folks writing today. Most importantly, I found my voice and rekindled my passion.

With my creative batteries recharged and my soul rested, I'm ready to finish the two books I'm currently writing and conquer more future projects.

How do you recharge and reset?

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