Looking at this image I took recently at a work retreat, I can’t help thinking, How about my own personal writing retreat? I was watching the season finale of Chasing Life on ABC Family last week where the main character is struggling writing the next few chapters of her book that her editor would like to see to confirm her progress. One of the editor’s tips to get back in the swing is to retreat to somewhere that is outside of her typical daily routine, free from distractions and somewhere new. Now from where I first started about why I wanted to write, I initially thought, maybe this is another excuse to believe that it is the location that is holding me back from writing. However, I have been giving this a lot of thought – especially with NANOWRIMO coming in a few weeks – and having a dedicated day where I drive out to potentially the middle of nowhere and bring a notebook, my writing resource books, pens, and notecards, I’d be good to go. I’ve been tied to my laptop or wanting to be able to type up my novel as it comes along, but also having the 2 browsers and 20 tabs constantly open – revealing social media, email, music stations, and other random sites. One of the prompts in The Write Stuff asks me to explain why I want to write. In my response, I described how in the 7th grade, an image on the old school overhead projector showed the simple image of a blank piece of notebook/composition paper with a sharpened pencil lying diagonally across it. Seeing that physical blank slate that could be right in front of me has stuck in my mind for 12+ years, so I should come back to the simplicity of writing. Technology wont make me a better writer.
Because Autumn is my favorite season (with pumpkin-everything and fall colors), my goal is to have 1-2 day retreats in October and November. I’ve tentatively set them in my google calendar so we shall see! My rough draft of an agenda is as follows:
Saturday or Sunday
- 8am – Starbucks/Dunkin run for seasonal coffee/tea
- 8:30am – Drive no more than an hour to retreat location TBD (somewhere with a fireplace would be ideal!)
- 9:15am-12:30pm – WRITE (a number of prompts but also streams of conscious)
- 12:30pm-1:30pm – Lunch Break (some sandwich and soup location, ideally Panera!)
- 1:30pm-5:00pm – MORE WRITING
- 5:00pm – Homemade meal for dinner
- 6:00pm – Home and unwind time!
Clearly I have more details to figure out, but I do not want to put too much structure into the experience!
Here’s to the Writer’s Retreat!
What are some ways you retreat yourself for your writing/reading?