Established Fantasy writer Gaie Sebold is the author of several novels including Babylon Steel, Dangerous Gifts and Shanghai Sparrow.
Here’s Gaie’s thoughts on the MeddelCoed writing retreat this February…
What was your goal and reason for attending?
To reset my head back into a writing space for the current project, having just sent the last, very different one off to beta readers, and to do actual New Words having mainly been grinding through edits for weeks.
To be around other writers. Firstly to get the guilt/determination boost that comes from being surrounded by other people being audibly productive. I’m glad modern keyboards aren’t totally silent, it actually makes a difference to hear other people bashing away…and knowing they can hear when I’m not…do I actually think people are judging me because I’m not typing? Probably not, but I am. Secondly, it always gives me an emotional and imaginative boost actually physically being in the same space with other writers, chatting, bibbling about wild ideas, moaning about The Business, whatever.
Did the retreat helped you reach your goal and how?
Because of the aforementioned guilt/determination boost and presence of other writers. I didn’t have a specific wordcount goal, but I did get properly into the headspace of the new novel, wrote several scenes, and worked out some major antagonist motivation, which I’d been stuck on.
Also because being away from home (and out of easy reach of shops) removes the siren call of such distractions as housework/gardening/cat snuggles/popping down the shops for that one thing I suddenly decide I need urgently.
What did you like best about the retreat in general, or what was your favourite moment?
The chance to see old friends and make some new ones. Actually getting some work done.
The hot tub! The hot tub was fabulous. Sitting around in it with a glass of wine talking about The Business was incredibly Hollywood, darling. And also eased the shoulders something wonderful after being scrunched up over a laptop for hours.
So yes, productive and fun, and I would definitely do it again.