My Spring Break Mini-Writers Retreat

writers retreatWell, I was planning to do a substantial personal “writer’s retreat” over Spring Break–and with grandkids visiting :-), some editing work, and various other unexpected hiccups, it didn’t quite turn out exactly that way.  But I did have a good holiday, with all my tutoring students taking holidays for the full two weeks.  And I managed to squeeze it lots of writing-related activity along the way:

  • I did a fair amount of journal writing
  • I finished up following through Charlene Kingston’s excellent “Create Ebooks Your Customers Will Love” course at her site. The workbook for the 20 lessons has been incredibly detailed with wonderful worksheets, and the lesson videos were also interesting and easy to follow. If you want a clear, detailed guide to creating e-books for your business, you should definitely check out this course–and her many other excellent mini-courses and webinars. Very helpful!
  • Then my “big job” : After researching, and making a big organizational wall chart with post-it notes, I did the first draft and the first edit of the e-book I have created during the course. Now I’m working on designing it using’s templates.  Sweet! My goal is to start an e-mail newsletter on my blog and use the e-book as a gift for signing up for the newsletter.  The topic of the e-book is a clear and simple explanation of the 3 main types of publishing (traditional, hybrid, and self-publishing) and the several sub-types of each, with their pros and cons. Many writers find themselves confused by all the choices in publishing these days, so this e-book is my effort to help people make the best publishing decisions for their personal needs.
  • I enjoyed reading and getting inspired for my own writing, with magazines I’ve had stacked up for some time, like The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers and Writing, WordWorks: British Columbia’s Magazine for Writers (Federation of BC Writers), and Geist: Ideas and Culture.
  • I did the “childhood memories” challenge for the Penticton Writers and Publishers (PWAP) group’s March meeting–a description of my childhood home from ages 5 to 7, based on a “memory map” I drew for that period in my life.
  • I am going to be attending the Okanagan Valley Writer’s Festival April 8 – 10 in Penticton BC.
  • I finally got busy and really explored using my wonderful Christmas gift–an Intuous Art Tablet and Pen! I tried it out on a variety of software programs, both graphics programs and Word Processing software–and for playing Solitaire too 🙂
  • I attended a Word Guild writers meeting in Kelowna BC–and read a sample of a story I’ve been writing based on the biblical story of “Ruth.” Got some great critiquing input 🙂
  • Read and took notes on lots of useful online articles relating to publishing and writing.
  • Went for walks along Skaha Lake and by the local oxbows and had fun playing with the grandkids in local parks–and went for a wonderful lunch with one writer friend, and coffee with another.
  • While working on my “big project” I also researched producing e-books using Word, Publisher, and PowerPoint.  Lots of great options, and fun to explore.
  • I’ve been reading from an old-timey (pre-internet!) book called Writing Articles That Sell by G.J. Matson. It might be “technologically” out of date, but oh my goodness–crammed with great ideas and inspiration for writing magazine articles.

So what do you think? Does that sound like a pretty good “writing retreat” to you?  Now if only I’d been in a little cabin by the wild Pacific coast, it would have been perfect!  Oh well, something to look forward to another time, right?


2 thoughts on “My Spring Break Mini-Writers Retreat

  1. When I first started writing, Matson’s book was one of my favourite guides when it came to putting articles together. I probably read it several times.

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