“When we move out of the familiar, we set in motion a series of events that, taken together, bring about changes at the very root of our being.”
Attending a writers retreat is taking time away from your normal life and going to a more relaxed environment to unwind and refocus. Magical is the word used to describe retreats.
The next time I plan for a writers retreat, it will be in Kenya at the Maasai Mara National Park in one of the lovely hotels. I hope many authors will attend. A well-organised writers retreat program will heal your spirit, leaving you rejuvenated with a new focus on your career.
Writing retreats are not new, they have simply taken on a new purpose. Some retreats are pricey while others cost almost nothing. As a writer, you will do well to attend a writers retreat to boost your creativity and get new ideas.
How do you choose where to go for the retreat?
What kind of place inspires you? Is it in the mountains or near the ocean? Is it during colder temperatures like snow?
Where you choose should be far removed from your normal schedule and life; a place that encourages you to write, and to relax, and is free from distractions.
Before you decide on a place, find out the services they offer.
Not all retreats provide meals; others leave it to the residents to cook for themselves. Ask if they offer massages, excursions, swimming pools, and gyms to facilitate you to unwind?
Plan and decide on your goals for the retreat
It is wise to decide what your focus will be during the retreat. Set goals you wish to accomplish while there.
Are your goals putting together a manuscript or completing your novel?
You can plan to write a certain number of chapters or word count. You could also write your manuscript or edit it.
Planning your retreat ahead is crucial for time management purposes.
Attend as a group
Going as a group of writers will get you a discount package. Aside from that, everyone will help in keeping each other accountable.
What to avoid
Avoid retreats by coaches that promise more than they can offer like; “you will write the next 50 Shades of Grey in three Days!” It’s easy to get carried away by glamorous promises. However, disappointment will most surely be the outcome.
Make sure you are getting value for your money. Seek reviews from other writers on the places that have caught your interest. Do your background check.
If you are attending with a group of writer friends, come up with a timetable.
Here is an example of one:
8 am: Breakfast
Since meals are served in the common area, it is an ideal time to interact with other writers.
9 am – 1 pm: Morning Writing
Find a spot for your morning writing.
1 pm: Lunch
Avoid heavy foods to prevent a sleepy afternoon and not get any writing done; especially fried and super-greasy foods.
2 pm – 5 pm: Afternoon Writing
Use this time to meet your writing goals or word target for the day; it is your last mile.
5 pm -6 pm: Rest, Meditate or Pray.
Having some quiet time is crucial to unwind. It helps you relax and energizes you.
6 pm – 7 pm: Discussion time
The team can use this time to discuss their goals. Also, brainstorm on new ideas and answer each other’s questions. In the company of other writers, sharing can bring solutions to former writer’s block.
7 pm – 9 pm: Cocktails and dinner
Treat yourself and enjoy your evening meal. You could listen to music and just relax. You deserve a treat after a hard days work.
When the day is over, sleep in your comfortable bed and don’t stay up too late. Early to bed means early to rise and remember, breakfast is at 8 am.
Experts and writing coaches are available at the best writing retreats to provide feedback and steer you in the right direction. A good coach will save you time and money by helping you avoid expensive mistakes.
Writers tend to live recluse lives; these retreats offer a chance to socialize with like-minded people.
Living with and interacting with other writers develops intimate communities of writers, enriching their lives for years to come.
Writers retreats are magical and inspirational. Not only will you be reinvigorated, but also energized, and get a new perspective on your writing project.
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