Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Elements of a Writing Retreat…

May 12, 2014
mandyevebarnett


strawberry-creek-lodgeThis coming weekend is not only a long weeked (whoop!) but also when I am spending four wonderful days fully immersed in my writing at Strawberry Creek Retreat. Anticipation is high for my fellow wordsmiths and I. My plan is to read through, revised and to some extent edit my current WIP – Willow Tree Tears. The novel is a cowgirl romance, with the heroine a champion barrel racer, enjoying rodeos and a ranch lifestyle. She finds herself having to choose between an old high school friend who lives a similar horse ranch life, or a suave, handsome wel- traveled Italian. There are numerous plot twists and several other characters and it does include adult content. Currently standing at 25 chapters (50,365 words) – I am aware it requires additional descriptions, dialogue etc. It was my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel so is rough to say the least! For an excerpt go to https://mandyevebarnett.com/current-project-2/

When we attend a writing retreat there are many personal aspirations and goals set – it is a time to have 100% focus on our work but we must decide on what our level of interaction will be within a group retreat. There are simple ‘rules’ that can be set out at the start of the retreat, such as a closed door means no interruptions, meals are taken together, prompts or short workshops will be available, exercise/walks can be taken in a group or solitary – no matter the format you should decide on what works for you.

Vital elements to the retreat are of course your means of writing! Bring your laptop, charger and memory sticks, notebooks, pens and pencils, research material, and any other related material that will assist you with the task in hand. Secondly, think about what you want to achieve within the time limits of the retreat. Make realistic goals so you enjoy the process but are not too exhausted to enjoy sometime away from the computer screen to refresh your mind, body and muse.

Have you been on a writing retreat?

What was your experience?

Any thoughts or tips you care to share?

006_strawberry-creek-lodgewriting_as_professional 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is Impenetrable – Or Impossible…

December 15, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Impenetrable – definition: incapable of being penetrated, pierced, breached or broken into

When we think about new directions in our life, there is a tendency to fill our minds with ‘what if’ and ‘should I’ thoughts. Fear of the unknown is nothing to be ashamed of, embrace it. Consider the rock face. Solid and seemingly impenetrable but over time tiny pebbles moved with the force of water, can wear that rock down. At first it is only a shallow dip but then it becomes deeper and deeper until eventually a hole through that rock face appears.

pebblepool

Whatever goals you want to achieve, they can be realized with thorough research and planning. The trick is to make small steps towards it instead of trying to get there in one fell swoop. ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’  – yes, it is an old saying but nevertheless true. Take time to contemplate what you really want and visualize it. Once you have the goal clearly defined work your way backwards.

What do you need to do now to get there?

Use a graph or a timeline for your goal. Once it is set out visually it is easier to focus and plot your progress. Each step takes you nearer to your ultimate goal and that is encouragement we all need.

Smart_goals_1

My goal for 2014 is to develop my freelance writing business. I have some doubts – time management, bidding on jobs, building a portfolio – to name a few. I have begun researching other freelancers and gaining knowledge from their expertise and experiences. I have already created a freelance binder where I am filing useful articles, blogs, and any information that is useful. My aim is to be as confident as possible before embarking on this venture. Plunging in blindly will result in failure, so time taken to prepare is an investment. To date, I have collaborated in creating a Vision Statement for the local Council and written articles on a wide variety of subjects on Strathcona Connect, an internet magazine. My blog post per day for 2013 has also given me valuable experience in creating interesting articles from just one word! I don’t expect to be able to leave full time work for quite some time but gradually I will build my business to the point that I will be able to.

Do you have goals for 2014?

Did you achieve your goals for 2013?

How did you plan for them? Care to share your technique?

hag stone1

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