The Value of a Writing Retreat

A few weeks ago I took a four-day writing retreat with the members of my monthly writing critique group. Last year we’d decided to try a retreat, and loved it so much that we did it again this year.

We booked a 6-bedroom cabin at a retreat center in a nearby town, and spent four days just writing. Yes, we did other things, too – went for walks or a swim, got together for meals and a movie every evening, and chatted here and there about our writing projects. We all get along really well, and even though we’re all writing different things in different genres, we enjoy talking about writing and even helping one another with brainstorming ideas.

A scenic view near our writing cabin.

The four-day weekend was restful, fun, and productive. I’m a big believer in the value of taking the occasional creative retreat – even if it’s not a four-day excursion to a cabin in the woods.

If you’re a writer (or any other sort of creative), I encourage you to try for your own retreat.

  • Retreating from the stress and busyness of daily life helps to rest the mind and revive the creative energies.
  • A retreat does not have to be expensive. One night at a cheap motel, or even an afternoon in the city park can give your mind a break from the norm and encourage creativity.
  • Find a quiet place away from crowds and surrounded by nature. Even if you’re a city lover, moments of solitude in a green space can boost creativity.
  • If you’re taking a short retreat (like an afternoon off in the park), you can take a notebook along for writing – but don’t feel bad if you’re not actually “productive” during that short space of time. A creative retreat can be for working, but it can also be just for relaxing and thinking.

Have you been on a writing retreat? Did you come away refreshed and feeling more creative? Please share!

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