One caught my eye and created an instant longing: The Writer’s Retreat Kit: A Guide for Creative Exploration and Personal Expression by Judy Reeves. It’s like a writer’s retreat in a box, with ideas for one-hour retreats, half-day retreats, weekend retreats and longer. They can be retreats at home or far away.
Retreat: a Definition
Among other things, the author wrote:
A writing retreat isn’t just about the time spent writing. Perhaps equally important as the time spent writing is the time given over to nourishment… For many writers, a retreat is a time for reconnecting with nature, for long walks in quiet woods or beside a restless seashore, for rowing on a lake or canoeing on a river. We long for a soundtrack of birdsong or trickling creek, for the lazy sway of a hammock beneath a shading tree, for a rocking chair on a generous porch, mint tea, a glass of wine or fresh, sweet water within reach. We want someone to bring us lunch. A retreat is a quiet place (except for the birds or maybe the profound purring of cat on lap), and when the time is right and good and when we are ready, it is writing.
Since I have met all five writing deadlines (some book length, some not), I am seriously considering giving myself the “gift of time” that such a retreat would take.
Pressure to Write
I’ve only gone on one writing retreat, and during that time, I felt the pressure to write continually. I had no one to cook for, no Internet connection, no one needing me for anything. It wouldn’t be like that when I returned home, so I felt much pressure to write, write, write!
But oh! A retreat without pressure or guilt? Wouldn’t that be heavenly? It wouldn’t have to be expensive–or even cost anything at all. I live near a pond and greenbelt area to walk in, I have a porch with a swing and three rockers, and I can fix the tea.
It’s the time that will cost me–time away from people and expectations and deadlines. It would be having the guts to say “no, I can’t,” when I’m home and free. Right now, I can barely fathom what it would feel like to retreat like this and not write until I really felt called back to it.
But oh! What an idea! I think I’m going to take a serious look at my calendar!