Saturday, January 08, 2022

Writing weekends, 2022


Ever since Covid began, two of my long-time writing friends and I have had monthly “writing weekends,” which are virtual and the closest we can come to mirroring the actual routine we have during in-person writing retreats, which we’ve been taking together for 18 years.

Usually we end up doing two in-person weeks a year at a formal writing residency and/or an AirBnB of our choosing, but when Covid first hit, our scheduled retreat was canceled and I had learned enough about Zoom to put this monthly weekend together. When together in person, we usually meet up in the kitchen for coffee and breakfast, chat some about writing, and then retreat to our rooms to work. We usually end up back in the kitchen together for lunch, and then in the evenings, we meet to read from and discuss our work.

It’s pretty easy to recreate those kitchen times and the reading and discussing on Zoom, and that’s what we’ve done. On our monthly writing weekends, I set up a series of Zoom meeting times and we come together on our screens to do what we might have done if on retreat. It’s worked extremely well for us: kept us writing, kept us connected, and kept us sane.

This weekend is our first of this new year. D is working on some writing room organization and the next chapter in her very intriguing novel-in-progress. L is working on clearing some papers on her desk while also looking for pieces of writing she’d like to continue with from that pile. I’m assembling my nonfiction chapbook and reviewing my short work submission lists. 

We had great discussion last night, met for coffee and toast this morning, and set some goals for ourselves for today’s work time. We’ll meet this afternoon to check in, and again tonight for readings and discussion. 

I can’t express how much this time each month means to me. Seeing them and engaging, but also reinvigorating my writing process. One can’t get too far off the writing track with monthly weekends to pull one back to the work. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

It’s a great idea to keep everyone together and working on projects until you can be together in person again.

billie said...

It has been! We were very lucky to get to Weymouth in person this past October, when Covid was contained and we were the only three writers in residence and all vaccinated and boosted and self-isolated just prior to the trip there. I am hoping we can retreat to the mountain house this spring if things settle down with Omicron.