For the past four years I’ve been lucky enough to belong to a wonderful community of women writers, under the auspices of my terrific teacher and editor, Linda Schreyer. I’ve shared writing classes with some of these women, and every year a group of us has attended a three day writer’s retreat.

This year we went to Cambria, a charming seaside town in Central California. I woke up every morning for a walk along beautiful Moonstone Beach. I spent the morning writing in my ocean view room, and in the late afternoon our group of six fabulous writers got together for a glass of wine and the opportunity to hear and give feedback on one another’s work. (Okay, I admit it. We also went into town and went shopping. That was part of the joy.)

I’ve come to realize that a writer can’t write well in a vacuum. I need trusted colleagues and readers to give me constructive criticism, because others can view my work with an objectivity that eludes me. I need to be open to other people’s feedback, while being self confident enough to know which suggestions will work, and which won’t. Every retreat gives me helpful ideas and invigorates my writing.

I’m so grateful to my fellow writing community.