Writing recharge

No matter what you do for a living (or hobby), you probably need a recharge every once in a while. A shot in the arm to inspire and motivate you. For me, the Romance Writers of America annual conference is the hit of adrenaline that gets me excited about writing again.

There’s something about being surrounded by nearly 2000 other people—mostly women in this case—who “get” me. They know my struggles to find the perfect word, patch a plot hole, and recover from the inevitable rejections. They understand why I stare at the wall, procrastinate by cleaning—okay, maybe I don’t clean, but I find other ways to avoid writing when I don’t know what should come next—and hate revisions.

I love meeting people I’d previously only known online (like several of the wonderful ladies on this blog), making new friends, and renewing old acquaintances.

The workshops remind of things I’d forgotten, increase my understanding of something I thought I already knew, and enlighten me on new ways to improve my craft.

And nothing provides inspiration and motivation to keep going like listening to big name authors tell their stories of perseverance. One writer had 17 books under her belt before getting the big contract. Yes, 17! And she’s kind of a big deal now.

Another waited ten years for her call.

That makes my 3.5 years and five manuscripts (plus a few half-written ones) seem like nothing in comparison. Sometimes I need the reminder to be patient.

Being around so many creative minds jumpstarts my muse and the ideas start flowing. I come home rejuvenated and raring to write again.

What about you? How do you recharge?

Photo credit: By Chocolateoak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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15 Responses

  1. […] of my fabulous co-conspirators from this blog last week at the RWA conference, the topic of my post today. Come over and tell me how you recharge yourself for writing or your other work. Share with […]

  2. I agree, Gwen. I always come home from RWA hyped and ready to plunge in. In my small town, there are no other romance writers (at least none who have admitted it:-) I love the interaction online groups give me, but there’s just something about being with people in person. You absorb the energy. It’s my yearly fix, and I so wish I had a home chapter where I could get that fix more often!

    • I know what you mean about the energy, Pam. Even though I’m an introvert and these things wear me out, from a writing perspective they pump me up.

      So glad we got to meet up and hang out!

  3. I recharge by spending time with my husband and son, going to the movies, reading fiction, writing (since I spend most of my time working & publishing), blogging, and playing online RPGs like Star Wars: The Old Republic!

    • Those sound like great things to me, Angie! I try to keep my weekends for time with family, and set aside time to read too so I don’t burn out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Didn’t get to go this year. But last year was a blast. I love going to my local chapter meetings–they get me recharged.

  5. Great post, Gwen. I didn’t get to go this year, but I’m looking forward to next year in Atlanta. I have to admit, I find National a weird mix of invigorating and intimidating, but you’re absolutely right. There’s nothing like the rush of being with people who get it.

    Hope to finally meet you in Atlanta.

    • Thanks, Mary! I agree, Nationals can be intimidating, though each year I feel more comfortable with it. I loved the lay out of the conference center and hotel this year. Wish all the conference hotels were like that one.

      We’ll have to make a point to meet up next year!

  6. I have learned that I need a good deal of quality sleep in order to write well. My mind doesn’t functioin when sleep deprived so no matter how hard I push the words won’t come as well.

    I usually take weekends off. Writing is my job (one a often love) and so I need a break from the relentless pressure to get words on page. Unfortunately I’m not as good at taking a break from blogs, social media, email, etc. and this is where I need work. I probably should make Sunday a social media free day. I’m going to think hard about doing that 🙂

    • I’m a big fan of sleep too, Liz! That’s why those early morning swim practices really messed me up this past year. I’m so glad to have them behind me.

      And I know exactly what you mean about the social media break. I need to be better at that. I was hardly online at all during conference, and it was nice. Of course, I had a lot of catching up to do when I got back… 😉

  7. Hi Gwen. Being new to the romance writing world, I have never attended a RWA meeting, but I plan to be there next year. Can’t wait to meet everyone. You have motivated me to write so I’ll have something to talk about next year. I recharge with a weekend at the beach. My best story ideas come during beach walks.

    • Welcome, Kim! Good luck with the writing. Maybe we’ll cross paths next year. I love the beach too, and wish I still lived close. I had an extra day LA this year, so that’s the first place I went.

      I tend to get my best ideas while running, but once we get back to the coast, I’m sure the beach will be an excellent muse.

  8. I feel the same way about National! The energy there is completely unique. Also, I spend a lot of workshop time scribbling ideas. Something always sparks my creativity, even if it has nothing to do with the actual topic. LOL

    When I can’t get to National or a regional conference, it’s my chapter’s writing retreat every May, or the mini-retreats I do with friends. And because I’m also an introvert and always working in some capacity, long stretches of time alone, especially when I can fit relaxation with TV or movies, is my mini-charge. 🙂

    I’m still super-bummed I didn’t get to see you all this year. Next year, hopefully!

    • I’m the same way, Natalie. Lots of ideas start coming even if they’re unrelated to the workshop.

      I went to my local chapter’s retreat for the first time this year, and it was nice. Smaller, shorter, but just as good for the writer’s soul.

      See you in Atlanta!

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