On the Road, or: Step Outside Your Life to Get Things Done

We are 69.23% of the way to our goal! The Raw Dog Screaming Press writers retreat is this coming weekend and we aim to provide free room and board to one lucky writer. Would you like to make that happen? At this point even the smallest donation can make a very real impact. In the above video I briefly touch on the subject of how important this kind of opportunity can be for somebody who needs to complete their next writing/editing project. To make things personal and go into greater detail permit me to tell you a story…

Back in early 2004 I attended the Associated Writing Programs conference in Chicago. That visit was my first to Chicago, and I found I loved the city (in fact I still do!). AWP 2004 also marked the first of many, many times I would share a hotel room with the infamous (and award winning) science fiction scholar D. Harlan Wilson to save costs, hang with a like-minded tall person, and plot and scheme. While much in the way of plotting and scheming did occur–such as negotiating his first book deal with Raw Dog Screaming–the first day I was a free agent.

Arriving by plane had been strangely energizing; in transit I cranked out a 2,000 word story that was later published. Finding myself on the ground as the conference was just getting under way, with no commitments, the energy continued to flow. Words kept pouring out of me despite my plans to possibly have dinner with other attendees, and by the following morning I had the first half of a novelette. This ending up being the opener to my collection Paramourn: Unfortunate Romances. Then D. Harlan hit the scene and the real fun began. That’s another story entirely.

The moral is this: without all the day-to-day obligations of running a home and literary journal my creativity rushed in to fill the void. This phenomena is not unique to me, hence the popularity of writers retreats. Don’t just take my word for it, though. To hear author Jessica McHugh’s insights regarding the writing life, and the need for writing space in a writer’s life, visit http://www.gofundme.com/writing-retreat.

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