Thursday, April 30, 2015

Refilling the Well - Dana Nussio

One of the things many of my romance writer friends and I share in common is that we have more stories inside us than the time to write. I, for one, started coming up with stories, mostly to avoid mom's stink-eye, long before I started in Miss Summers' kindergarten class. And I never stopped telling them. Just ask my sister, Sabrina. The family lore is that I once blamed her for wetting my pants during a difficult day in the old potty-training regimen, but I don't remember that far back, so I can neither confirm nor deny that one.

I'm sharing all this juiciness - and sogginess, as the case likely was - because I've learned another thing about writers. Although we might have tales stacked three deep in the bookshelves of our minds, our creative wells aren't quite as constant. They're temperamental founts, sensitive to the strains of our daily lives and easily drained without some of the same tender care we build into the relationships between our heroes and heroines.

That's why it's so important that we take the time we need to refill our wells. I did just that this past weekend by attending "Retreat From Harsh Reality," sponsored by the Mid-Michigan chapter of Romance Writers of America. The annual retreat provides an opportunity for writers to relax, share creative energy with fellow authors and get back in touch with the stories that compelled us to write in the first place. And then they're are encouraged to sneak away or collect in groups and start typing.

This year's event took place at the Bay Pointe Inn, a resort on Gun Lake, in Shelbyville, Michigan, a setting so beautiful that I would have come away inspired, even if no one had spoken a word. But then Rita Clay Estrada, co-founder and first president of the now 10,000-member Romance Writers of America, started sharing her wisdom. She inspired us, telling tales from some of the pioneers of the romance industry and encouraging us to keep writing our stories. I couldn't wait to get back to my book - to Ben and Delia and their rocky journey toward love - which is good thing since I'm on deadline. :)

DID I MENTION THE SETTING? Who wouldn't be able to get into a romantic writing mood watching a sunrise like this?


Sunrise over Gun Lake, Shelbyville, Mich.

Or staring out over a scene as serene as this one?

Water like glass on Gun Lake
Filling the creative well is important whether we're writers, artists, employees, mothers, sisters, daughters or any combination of those things. We all constantly give of ourselves and are split in so many directions. Filling the well allows us to be our best selves and to give our best to the world. It is my hope that my own fill-up will help me to bring my best stories to SuperRomance readers.

10 comments:

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

I always come away from retreat recharged and excited about writing again. We do need to refill the well sometimes, and it's the perfect place for doing that. Glad you were able to attend to help celebrate the 30th anniversary.

Dana Nussio said...

It was great seeing you there, Lucy. I'm glad you had a good time, too.

Patricia Kiyono said...

The retreat was awesome. I had a great time absorbing all the energy and am looking forward to putting my recharged ambition to work!

Mary Preston said...

We all need to fill the well from time to time.

Nancy Gideon said...

Ahhh. Fresh from the well and rearing to write. What a great weekend with great friends where creativity spring eternal.

Margo Hoornstra said...

There must be a good reason we hit the number 30 with this retreat. Unfailing support and encouragement was/is only the beginning.

Laurie I said...

As a reader I'm always so amazed to hear writers talk about how they have so many stories in their head waiting to come out. I'd love to write a book but always get stuck when I think about how little I know about a subject I'd like to write about. But that's another topic. I loved your pictures and I'm glad you've been rejuvenated so you can keep writing, and we readers can keep benefiting from your stories. ( :

Dana Nussio said...

It was so great spending time and sharing all of that creative energy with you - Patricia, Nancy and Margo.

Dana Nussio said...

Mary - I hope you're finding people and places that help to fill you well, too.

Dana Nussio said...

Laurie - If you have stories in your head, please let them out. You never know what you can accomplish with your words until you try. Remember, every published author was once an unpublished writer who wondered if she could. Good luck!

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