Catie Webster

I signed up for retreat with Suzanne and Dede knowing that I loved to write, but unsure of what my next steps were.  I'd just been blogging for my own entertainment for the last five years, but I didn't have a book project or anything.  I didn't even know what I might get out of the weekend, but the thought of four days on the beach with nothing to do except make sweet love to my laptop sounded like my kind of vacation! Not only did I get romantic with my Macbook, but I fell in love with my writing! (And a particularly gorgeous man, no doubt a result of the Gateless method finding its way into our emails!) The way this method allows the words to pass through you onto the page is amazing.  So many times I read my work and wondered, how did I do that?  I wrote late into the night and even got a submission to elephantjournal.com published the second day of the retreat. This experience has given me faith in my voice as a writer and so much more respect for the ability of my words to help people (I write mostly about yoga and coaching).  To write in an open and non-competitive environment with other writers (now friends!) who have completely different styles gave me the courage to try new things, and provided incredible feedback that gave me the confidence to push my work into channels I'd never have thought to try.  The focus on what's working in our writing is such a refreshing change from the criticism authors normally face, and that positive acknowledgement builds momentum in our work that pushes everything else out.  Our writing can't help but get better! There are so many little tricks and tools that I got out of the weekend without even realizing it.  I've been writing non-stop since I got back - I've have had three more pieces published and I'm outlining a book!  (Something I never thought I'd do.) Suzanne and Dede have been so supportive and continue to be amazing mentors and friends - this retreat was worth every penny and so, so, so much more!!!