Award-winning SF&F writer, IT geek, craftsman, gardener and apprentice starship engineer David Gullen lives in South London. He has over 30 short stories published in various magazines and anthologies including Nature, Stupefying Stories and F&SF.
Here’s what David had to say about the MeddwlCoed retreat this February…
What was your goal and reason for attending?
Over the winter I’d dropped out of the habit of regular writing for a few different reasons and this was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with my writing mojo, and on the back of that to get some proper immersion into a short story I was making much slower progress on than I would like.
Did the retreat helped you reach your goal and how?
It definitely did. I finished a good first draft of the story, and reminded myself that yes, I can still sit down and write for several hours. I’m a slow writer. A thousand words is a good days work for me. Turning in just over 2100 words in two days felt very good.
Although I’m slow I don’t tend to redraft much – first draft for a short story is usually a very solid structure that I polish, colour in, and rub down in a couple of reasonably fast passes.
This story was also interesting in that it morphed from my original themes to the ones the main character was exercised by, and I was happy to go along with that as it was, I felt, much better for it.
What did you like best about the retreat in general, or what was your favourite moment?
I’ve been on several writing retreats, enjoyed them all, and this was no different. It’s one of my favourite kinds of holiday. Being able to immerse yourself in a writing life with like-minded people is a real joy, and equally to the point, very productive.
That’s what I liked most – the writing, the conversations, the putting yourself and your day to day worries and distractions aside for the time you are there is good for the soul. A glass of wine in the hot tub while a few of us grumbled about this and that was great.
I enjoyed cooking for everyone, and also having a nice lunch presented to me when I was in the flow, hungry, and not really wanting to stop was great too. And the conversation was very good, especially the last evening.