A writing retreat is an unusual beast.
You see, it rips a writer open. In just seven days, the soul is exposed and the hurts that revolve around words are exposed to the sunlight, where they then proceed to shrivel and burn to ash.
And in the remnants of that ash we find the fresh, pearly word-shoots showing their tips to the light. And how they grow! Like time lapse photography, those shoots grow into little stalks, and by the time hugs are given at the end of the week, those little stalks are ready to sunbathe.
Last week there were whole mountains of trepidation. Valleys of self doubt. Gorges of not-good-enough. Trails of anxiety leading to bouts of waterfall tears. It was a group who had been told in a vast variety of ways that they didn’t have what it takes, or that their stories, the words of their souls, didn’t matter.
We showed them it wasn’t true. By the end of the week their detractors were shown to be charlatans, liars, cons. Because every story was there, waiting to burst forth. Yes, some writers were further ahead on the journey than others. But every person there is ready to be a writer, to keep charging down that wordy brick road, knowing they’re not alone, they have the tools, they have the heart.
They can be the tellers of the empires of story. At the retreat, they found their tribe. And to be part of that is always so humbling.