Writer's Retreat?

question
discussion

#1

I’m considering renting a place next year with my husband to write as much as I can. Like a cute ass cottage I wish was really mine. You know, get away from adulting for a while. My husband’s my co-author and illustrator. And being a mom for 3 years, with carpal tunnel for 2 years, and chronic back pain for 4 years now, but not even close to being published… Yeaaaah, a week long vacation is much needed.

Has anyone actually gone through with getting away to get shit done in your book? Let me know your experience and how helpful it was. And if it’s even worth it?


#2

I think writing is very intense, needs focus, so a retreat could help you get started, get focused and gain some momentum in your writing.


#3

Hard to predict. If you’re good at adjusting to different circumstances, and find that sort of change stimulates your creativity, it could work out.

I’ve done some retreat/residency/fellowship things. One was in Alaska, where I had a house on a steep seacoast for a month, with a stipend. Had to do the cooking and housekeeping myself, and got flown out to bush schools to rev up the kiddies, and did a couple public events. But otherwise, my time was my own and no one interrupted me. I used the time to complete the final revisions on a poetry manuscript before publication. It was a wonderful time.

Also did a master class at an arts centre, two weeks, a small workshop with a fiction writer I admire to the stars. There were parallel retreats with painters and composers, so it was fun to hang out in the evenings and drink wine and converse. Meals were provided, with hotel-style service, so all I had to do was attend the daily workshop, go on field trips, and write. The leader liked my first shot at fiction and gave me good tips on revision. The result was getting my short story published.

A self-funded, self-managed retreat can be really good if you know what you need, whether urban buzz or the piney woods. Having to do the cooking and housekeeping might put you back in the daily grind you’re trying to escape, in an unfamiliar place. So getting food and housekeeping service might be a good break, even though it costs more.

I also spent a couple weeks in cheap hotels and beach shacks in Mexico, riding buses, eating street food. It wasn’t always comfy, but it was good for writing.


#4

Rather than self-funding your retreat and renting a cottage, etc. you might try searching for existing retreat setups. I located some through Poets & Writers, and there are various listings online. You and your partner could apply jointly or separately.

Resorts in the off-season can be a good bet, if you’re able to do some care-taking.

Worth a shot.


#5

Thanks much for your input! I think being an introvert makes it so I’d rather have a retreat with my husband only (without the little one), but I’m sure by the time I’m older, I’d consider a retreat with other writers. It sounds really fun from what you’ve mentioned. : )


#6

Hi I know Wattpad for a very long time and I needed much breaks also. Now I’m finally back and I decided that it is this time for always. Wattpad is for me a very good place, I love writing and I love reading, also I want keep on practicing in the English language :slight_smile: I think breaks are needed to grow, growing further so we are able to write more powerful stuff. So that is how I think about this :slight_smile:


#7

In any event, I hope you find something that suits you.

A stray thought: if you enjoy being at sea, you could see about booking on a freighter, which carries a few passengers. When Mum and I went to New Zealand, she got us on a small container ship: LA to Auckland, two weeks at sea. Later on, I repeated the journey with a mate. Kept a detailed journal and read a stack of books.

There are agents who specialise in freighter travel.


#8

If you can afford it, then I say go for it! But just remember that retreats don’t work for everyone.

I know it worked for Margaret Atwood (she wrote The Handmaid’s Tale doing that) but, say, for me, I can’t write well when I’m in a new place. If you know you can write in an unknown place, then do it and see what you come up with! :blush:


#9

Thanks!

As cool as that sounds, I think I prefer being on land for a retreat. I’m not that adventurous, haha.


#10

Hey, welcome back to Wattpad! Yes, I agree. Wattpad is a great website to gain support and feedback. : ) And I’m sure as you keep up with writing/reading, your english will definitely improve. I’ve been considering learning more Spanish as a New Years resolution.

Thank you. : ) That’s exactly what I think as well and hope to gain with this retreat.


#11

Definitely can’t afford it now, but in the long run of saving, it will be possible some time next year. : )

Thanks for the tip! That’s definitely something I should remember. I usually enjoy writing outside of home. So I feel like it’ll be doable. : )


#12

hello there thankyou I’m in love with the English language I come from The Netherlands and I love visiting London. Maybe next year I go to that city and I can not wait. Yes wattpad is a great place because my collection of poetry is going well! I’m very happy about that :slight_smile:


#13

That’s cool! How’s the weather there? I live in Washington state and I use to live in California…I hated it, so I moved here with my son and husband. : ) The weather here is getting colder, but I love winter and winter is definitely closing in soon. Hope it’s going to be another white Christmas like last year. : )

I use to want to visit London when I was younger. I love the brits! And that’s awesome about your collection.
: )


#14

Good that your poems are finding readers. I’ve got a poetry collection on WP: first thing I posted. Had some encouraging comments.

Besides breaking free of your daily grind, a retreat can offer a couple things.

The first is time to work without being interrupted by chores, errands, phone calls, children, pets, friends dropping by, etc. You can bear down and really get a lot done, as long as you’re prepared with the source material and writing tools you’ll need.

The second is the stimulation of a different place. Part of that is meeting new people. But having to learn a new place really stirs something in me, sort of a primitive urge to explore and map my surroundings. Which in turn seems to be linked to my creative part.

In any event, good luck!