Hello friends. I return, as promised, after a week away for a writing retreat. I was with the same group of people last year for a similar weekend. We were at a different location this year and had an extra day, but the vibe and its value to me were much the same.

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend since it was announced and it did not disappoint. It was another fabulous time away at a beautiful location with awesome people, in a supportive, productive environment.

I honestly can’t believe the difference a week has made in my editing progress. I had expected to get tired of working on my novel and had a plan to work on short stories if I lost focus. That only actually happened once over the course of the retreat. I managed to work my way through 22,000 words during my stay (and that’s not counting the 3000 word short story I edited). For comparison, the entire month of February saw me get through 38,300 words. So yeah, it was a productive weekend.

In the course of my editing I added more to a character storyline I’m building and eliminated enough dross to reduce my word count total by 3000 words, even after adding the new character material. I’ve struggled so hard to reduce the word count that this feels like (and is) fantastic progress.

Since the retreat extended into Monday and I knew I’d be full of motivation afterwards, I booked this whole week past off work. With the extra time and energy to edit, I got another 9700 words done this week, on top of what I accomplished on the weekend.

So in a week I’ve worked through over 30,000 words and now have less than 100 pages left to go. Two weeks ago I’d only just hit the half-way point and now I’m more than two thirds of the way through. I’m sure you can imagine that I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m at. The end is in sight and the threads I’ve been trying to weave in are starting to come together. I have a plan for fixing up the issues some of my alpha readers noted in the ending and have been setting the stage for it.

There’s still going to be one more round of editing as I incorporate the feedback I’m currently getting on the rewrites, but so far it looks like that’ll be pretty minimal. I think what I’m doing now is the real bulk of the work, so as I near the end of these edits I’m feeling really good about where things are. I’m getting super excited to wrap this up and see how it all looks once these rewrites are done. I’m even more excited to begin the next steps of shopping it around and seeing if I can get a publisher to take it on, with the end goal of sharing it with the world. What a difference a week makes!

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