One of my writing groups took a writing retreat last week. We did a couple writing exercises, critiqued everyone’s stuff, talked publishing and writing… oh, and ate too much junk food together. All in a cute West Virginia cabin that smelled strongly of the knotted pine that made up the walls and cabinets.
I think retreats, conferences, classes and all that stuff is great as a general rule. Even when I think it’s hokey or not useful, I usually come home recharged and ready to write. I have one novel off, still being mulled over by a publisher who asked to see revisions twice (everyone cross their fingers for me!). I have a million other projects jockeying for my attention, but my writing group helped me pick the project I think my fun side wants to explore. Something crazy and high concept, with magic, gadgets and mystery.