If you find yourself needing a mental recharge to get going (after all, it's only July 27 -- there's still time!), you might try something I enjoyed: one of mediabistro.com's many publishing workshops, in-person in New York. It is ridiculously easy to get from Washington to New York these days; I prefer to stroll across the Key Bridge and hop the Vamoose Bus, but there are other cheap, comfortable choices such as the Bolt Bus and the Chinatown Bus. This ain't the scary old Greyhound -- today's sleek motorcoaches have internet, restrooms, and they're comfortable enough to snooze on. They cost about 1/5 as much as the train, and if you factor in travel time to and from Union Station, they take you to the same places almost as fast. Vamoose put me at Madison Square Garden, just five blocks from the seminar building over near Park Avenue and 31st.
I have taken several mediabistro classes in the past, but mostly in DC, and one online. Not to be a snob about it, but the New York ones are so much better. My course was taught by Joy Peskin, a senior editor at Penguin with a successful career. Networking with her alone was worth the tuition for a four-hour class (what's the value of meeting and chatting with an editor in person?), but when I saw the caliber of my fellow writers, I fell in love with the idea of visiting New York once in a while for an energy transfusion. There was another employee from Penguin in the group, plus a fashion designer with a sterling resume, an editor for a higher education publication, a renowned Sherlock Holmes expert, and so many more. Although mediabistro can seem to have a youngish and greenish online image, the age range was all over the place, and most of us were experienced writers in mid-career. Total out of pocket (bus fare, course fee, and what I spent on lunch, coffee, and crab dumplings for dinner): $175.
I enjoyed the four hours to New York and back reading manuscripts from Booklab authors and studying Italian, so travel time wasn't wasted, and it flew by. I left at 7 a.m. and was home before midnight, recharged, refreshed, and ready to face my own summer manuscripts again.