For the last three years, my group of writing friends has gone on a writing retreat for one weekend each November. We work on getting caught up or ahead on our NaNo word counts, catch up with each other’s lives, and generally have a really good time. The focus is on writing and we have quiet hours to encourage productivity, but we also tend to eat meals together and take breaks to laugh and enjoy ourselves.
My Goal for the writing retreat was to leave on Sunday with 40,000 words in the bank.
Day 16 – Goal 2,800 (cumulative 31,667)
Going into the retreat I was a bit behind what I wanted. I had hoped to be at 30k before leaving and I didn’t quite make it. I did get close though with some words written at work over lunch and on the bus. We also made decent time getting to the retreat and I had more time to write after we arrived than I expected. Overall it was a productive day and I was happy with where I finished the day off. With a 5,000 word day on Saturday and a double day on Sunday, I was on my way to 40k before heading home. Actual – 31,700
Day 17 – Goal 5,000 (36,667)
Saturday is always the biggest word day at the retreat. It is our only full day and we tend to have a good amount of quiet hours. I wanted a minimum of 5,000 words but was hoping for more like 6,000. In the end, I got about 6,500. The real story of the day though was one of my friends got 8,500 and that is now my future one-day word goal! Actual – 38,400
Day 18 – Goal ~3,333 (41,667)
On Sunday at the retreat we spend the morning writing, the early afternoon packing up and cleaning, and the late afternoon getting home. I knew I wanted to have 40k before I left the retreat. That meant I needed ~1,600 in the morning quiet hours. Once I had those words I helped clean up and went out to spend a bit of time at the end of the boardwalk looking out over the ocean. It was beautiful and I’m glad I had that 20 minutes to recharge. At home, I managed another 1,000 words before bed. Actual – 41,000
Overall it was a successful retreat. I made my goal of 40,000 before leaving the writing retreat. I wrote almost 10,000 words while I was away for the weekend, which in some ways is less than I usually get, but was as much as I needed. I’m in good shape to get my 50k by Friday.
Are you where you wanted to be at this point in the month? How are you feeling about your chances of finishing 50,000 by the end of November?