I'll be heading out to a local casino soon with some writer friends. This is what we call our "Turtle Retreat" because it takes place at Turtle Lake Casino in a small town in Wisconsin.
I organize it twice a year (spring and fall) and I always get energized by it. I don't take my laptop, just my Gadget (a handheld computer that's good for composing and notes, but nothing else.) There's no Internet in the hotel, so it's just 2 days SOLID of brainstorming. We each get two 1-hour slots to do whatever we want (within reason, of course. No running around naked or getting crazy. Two 1-hour slots to do WRITING stuff).
It's amazing how much energy you can get from people when they're on the same wavelength as you, isn't it? I went to a one-day conference a week or so ago, with a creativity coach, Eric Maisel. It was amazing -- this guy had the whole room (50-60 people) energized and focused and ready to write. There were people in that room who had given up writing and when he got done, they were working on their first drafts again. He showed us how so many things are just roadblocks to writing: the 'I can't' syndrome, versus the 'I can'.
As it turns out, we were in a conference room next to an incredibly NOISY bunch of people, and it just proved his point: you can write anywhere, any time, as long as you have your story in your head. I got a whole chapter written that day in 5 minute chunks. I've always been very disciplined and focused when it comes to my writing, and this just reinforced what I've always known: there's no Silver Bullet.
Sit down and write.
I'll report back in from the Turtle in a few weeks and tell you how I fared on the slots (I usually come out ahead) and in the brainstorming. I've already decided I want to brainstorm one book and use one hour for promo brainstorming. Since the others going with me are unpubbed, I can get reader perspectives on what might work and what won't.
I'm already looking forward to it.