During Nanowrimo, we usually plan a marathon day halfway through the month for us to dedicate the entire day to our writing. This year, we decided to take our party on the road. Or tracks, I should say. We hopped on an Amtrak line called the River Runner, from Kansas City to the small German wine town Hermann, Missouri.
There is nothing better than immersing yourself into your story with the heartbeat of a train rumbling underneath you.
There were multiple reasons why us Wordwraith’s decided to do a train writing retreat as opposed to having another “coffee shop hop” marathon day.
1. It’s fun. Plain and simple. Who wouldn’t want to take a day trip to a cute, little, German town with excellent wineries nestled on the Missouri River? Once we got there and had some lunch, we found a courtyard at Hermanoff Winery and set up camp. We wrote for several hours in the presence of each other, delicious wine, and a tray of cheese and crackers. It was magical.
2. For focus. Even during National Novel Writing month, where you plan to put your life on hold to write 50k in under a month, life still gets in the way. By us planning this day of complete, undivided attention to our novels, we were all able to catch up and get ahead in our word counts. I wrote 7,083 words that day. That’s the most I’ve ever written in one setting.
3. Community. All 7 of us spent the day together, our heads buried into our laptops. And even if we didn’t talk to each other most of the day, we were still creating in each other’s presence. We felt so much unity that when the day was over, we even joked about “missing the return train” to stay in Hermann overnight because we didn’t want it to end.
4. Inspiration. Traveling is a big part of who I am as a writer. I have always had a passion for writing travel narratives, a way for me to relive the experiences I’ve had abroad, which have shaped me into who I am. I’ve found that all of my novels also carry the same central theme of traveling, even if not in the conventional way: Traditional travel across the ocean, traveling through time, traveling through space, etc. So when we came up with the idea to hop on the train and write all day, I was on board immediately.
A change of scenery is one of the healthiest things you can do for your writing at times. If you feel stuck in your story, or tired of the project, or just need to dedicate some time to focus, train travel can be very therapeutic. We’ve already decided this will definitely not be our last trip as a group.
❤ Kristin & The Wordwraiths