Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recharges and Tune Ups


Do you ever wonder if your creative batteries could use a recharge? Or perhaps your creative engine could use a tune up? I’ve been feeling in need of something. My writing motor is grinding

and I suspect that it could use some fresh oil. I still bubble over with the love for writing and stories, but something is not clicking in one particular novel and this is keeping the whole from working in smooth conjunction. Critique pals and others have read this novel, delivered golden feedback, and pronounced it ready. . . but I’m not convinced (ARG—I reach for my hair to start ripping it out). I know in the deepest depths of my writer’s gut that something about this novel isn’t working well enough yet. But what?

Since grabbing fistfuls of hair is sort of painful and does not solve writing dilemmas, I applied for admission to the Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop, a week-long mentorship program that promises guidance for each participant’s novel, group discussions and feedback, seminars, and lots of quite writing time. Could this be the tune up my writing self and my novel need?


So, I leave this coming weekend for a week of writing and mentoring seclusion. I hope you don’t mind that I will be absent from the blog world, but when I get back, hopefully I’ll have lots of great information to share.


Tell me, do you ever feel the need to recharge your creative batteries? Has a project ever left you baffled (and pulling at your hair) about what it needs?


Have any of you ever attended a Highlights Foundation workshop? Or some other writing retreat?


Happy writing and reading!

62 comments:

  1. Interesting blog. I really like reading your posts!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. For me, creativity is like the tide. I don't need to recharge, I just need to accept that whtever it is I am looking for will come...just not at that exact moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, interesting, Michael. Patience and trust. Good things.

      Delete
  3. It sounds like heaven! Have a fabulous time and good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I believe that when a writer feels like this, a writer's conference or workshop may be just what you need. You will come back recharged, and you will come back having learned something new about the craft. I always become inspired when I hang around other writers. The seclusion will be awesome...no interruptions! You will find out what that thing is hanging in your writer's gut that you don't feel is quite right with the novel.

    Have a great time! I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    I hope you give us a report when you return.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I definitely think you should trust you gut on this one, you'll figure it out I'm sure.

    I went the Whole Novel Workshop back in 2008. LOVED it! OMG, and the food was SO good. Carolyn Coman was my mentor and she was fabulous. I know that you will have a great time. It is worth it! :)

    Can't wait to hear details when you get back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Karen, I'm so glad you went and loved it! Thanks!

      Delete
  6. I agree that sometimes you need to lean on others for a recharge. A week of writer mentoring and seclusion sounds like a wonderful way to get your umph back. I like to read great books and find inspiration in others to recharge my battery. It never fails me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too, Emily! I usually get inspiration from reading. And still do.

      Delete
  7. I was amazed at how inspired and recharged I still felt weeks after I attended a writers' retreat last fall. Hope you have a wonderful time Cynthia, and I will look forward to hearing your thoughts after you return. All the best. ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Victoria! Recharged for weeks sounds wonderful.

      Delete
  8. Oh I'd love to attend something like this! How wonderful for you! The best thing I did that gave me extra oomph with my writing was to enroll in my Open Uni writing course - it was a 6 month course and it was just brilliant! It helped to be in a very disciplined and focused environment!

    I really really really know you'll have a brilliant time and your writerly mojo can and will only benefit! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks Old Kitty! I really really really hope you're right! : )

      Delete
  9. What a great solution. I hear so much about the Highlights workshops; one of my Beta Readers has gone to two of them and come back revitalized both times. When I can't afford a workshop, I journal, and that seems to stir the creativity up again. But for as advanced as you are in the WIP you're mentioning, the workshop sounds like just the thing. Good luck, and do share insights when you come back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh wow, the workshop sounds fantastic. I hope it helps you work out what's wrong with the novel. I've had this problem too. I usually put the novel aside for a while and come back to it after a long break. That often gives me a fresh perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great technique, too, Lynda--one of my favorites.

      Delete
  11. Yes, I've been in that mental space. Sometimes going deeper into the story worked.

    Have a great workshop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, maybe that's what I need. Thanks, Jenn.

      Delete
  12. What a cool idea!

    I find going for a run helps. That and taking a break from my ms and working on something else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any kind of break can be really helpful, right, Stina?

      Delete
  13. I'll try to keep this comment short. The manuscript I recently completed had a problem. I'd worked on it for a long time. I knew there was a problem, but I didn't know what it was. My CP's, like yours, thought it was good to go. I decided to get an editor. The best decision I could have made. She spotted the problem right away. It was a simple fix on one hand, but the change affected everything because it made my protagonist so much stronger. So there wasn't a single chapter that remained unchanged. So listen to your heart and your head and your intuition. If you feel something is wrong, there is.

    Enjoy the workshop. And fix that manuscript!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol, thank you for sharing this! What a great story with a happy ending.

      Delete
  14. I hope you find the answer soon. For me, it's usually a case of leaving the ms alone for a while and then getting back to it at some point in the future.

    I guess maybe I don't feel a conscious need to recharge because I have periods when I don't write at all. I don't know why, since we're told to practice every day. After these long periods not writing, when I decide I need to get serious again, I'm usually raring to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you know exactly what works for you, J.L. And that's what's important!

      Delete
  15. I've never attended the workshop, but it sounds like fun. Enjoy it, and hopefully it recharges those creative batteries. Can't wait to hear how it went!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll tell you all about it at that B&N signing in April, Alissa! : )

      Delete
  16. That workshop sounds wonderful! I usually use my vacations away from home to recharge. I read a ton of books then and that helps too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smart, Lydia. Pure reading time is great therapy.

      Delete
  17. Good for you! Sounds like just what you need. Another perspective, a fresh go at looking at your writing. Have fun!! I love going to writer's conferences and retreats. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carol! This is my first retreat, so it should be interesting.

      Delete
  18. Have a wonderful time and tell us all about it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. oh my gosh that workshop - you'll have to tell us ALL about it! Take photos! Log your days! All details! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oooo . . . can't wait for you to share some of your insights.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I hope you have a wonderful time at the workshop and come back fully recharged.

    I wanted to pull out my hair this summer after getting feedback from beta readers. Their feedback was amazing, but I had to do a major revision--I basically rewrote the manuscript.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's definitely worthy of hair-pulling, Medeia.

      Delete
  22. That workshop sounds incredible! I hope it gives you the recharge you need. I know I definitely need recharges!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm certainly feeling that way with my blog. More unfortunately, I've started spinning my wheels on my MS. I had a nice sit-down with a member of my writer's group about it and she had some interesting insights that I thought might work. But now, when I sit down to see if I can do anything with it, BLANKEROONIE. I'm not happy about that today.

    Congrats on the Highlights Workshop, it sounds like a tremendous experience! Can't wait to hear about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear about your situation, JeffO. Hang in there. Maybe start working on something else? Read a great novel? People have some great suggestions for recharging here.

      Delete
  24. ABSOLUTELY! LOL! Enjoy your recharging weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I attended a one day mentorship to work on my first 50 pages. It was wonderful!!!!
    You will have a ball.... And hopefully shape your novel into something amazing xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle. I've returned and I did have a ball! : )

      Delete
  26. Reading usually helps me recharge, especially if the book is something I don't usually pick up. Have a great time at the workshop. It sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Adrienne. I agree that reading is a great way to recharge.

      Delete
  27. Yes, I did attend a week-long Highlights writers workshop and it was wonderful! I hope you have a wonderful, inspiring, educational week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, so you know how wonderful the Highlights experience can be, Susan. Wonderful, inspiring, and educational.

      Delete
  28. I adore Highlights workshops. The setting is peaceful and the food superb! I can't wait to hear about your experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was everything you promised and more, Shannon! Amazing. : )

      Delete
  29. I've never went to a Highlights Workshop before, good luck with your novel. I am sure they will be a great help to you.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow, the Highlights workshop sounds wonderful! I hope it's just what you need.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, sounds cool! Hope it goes well!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Topup any Bangladeshi mobile balance by following site

    http://www.bdtopup4u.com

    its simple and easy

    ReplyDelete