Usually, I get to spend a long weekend in August on retreat with my writer buds. This year August didn’t work for us so we switched to September. I’m writing this while at the cabin in the woods, and let me tell you, it’s been utterly delightful.

Usually I come to these weekends with a serious goal: write a certain number of pages, get through revisions, brainstorm a new book. This time was different. I just finished a heavy-duty round of revisions on the next Comeback Cove book. I have no contracts for more books. I’m contemplating new directions in writing, and I’m fresh off a summer spent chauffeuring, entertaining, organizing, and squeezing in pockets of work. It’s been an intense couple of months, and I was ready to spend some time catching up on many things that got pushed aside.

So that’s what I’ve been doing.

It hasn’t been a slacker weekend by any means. I arrived with a list of assorted projects – plans to make, schedules to create, emails to draft. There were books to be read and research to be done and newsletters to catch up on. None of it was urgent but all of it was necessary. Without the pressure of a deadline, I was finally able to put all those diddly tasks first, to work my way through the list and finally feel like I was a little bit ahead, if only for a moment.

But in between the projects, I’m reading. Sort of for research, but mostly for fun.

And at night, there are movies: The Intern, Cool Runnings, Fifty First Dates.

And in the early mornings, there is knitting! I haven’t knit in far too long. But before we left, I dug out some gorgeous salmon-colored aran wool and found a fast & easy pattern on Ravelry and tossed everything into my bag. It’s cast on and in progress.

And always, of course, there is laughter and group brainstorming and the thunk of walnuts falling off the trees behind us and the babble of the creek below us as we sit outside with our laptops.

I have always found writing retreats to be incredibly useful. There’s something amazing about spending a few days totally immersed in the world of the story.

But there’s also something amazing and restorative about spending a few days hitting the reset button.