Retreat Time: Is It Possible?

While recovering from an illness I picked up simply (I believe) from being exhausted, I was going through my favorite writing books.

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!

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6 Responses to Retreat Time: Is It Possible?

  1. Kate Wilson says:

    I hope you do give this to yourself, Kristi!

    • kwpadmin says:

      After a long, long talk with a friend today, I got a few “aha’s” and I think one of them is going to be doing exactly this! (After I get through Easter dinner and the company that’s coming!)

  2. Vijaya says:

    I hope you do this, Kristi. I do little home retreats when I get the chance. My husband will take the kids camping and I stay home to care for the pets … and write! A happy Easter to you!!!

    • kwpadmin says:

      I am starting today, Vijaya! Easter’s activities went well, and today I shall take a long walk, baby my headache, journal some, feel better… Your husband sounds like a saint, by the way. I know you must treasure him. :-)

  3. kiwidenis says:

    Aaaaaaah my soul breathes; YES to these ideas for a retreat. A disconnect from the daily bustle of life; time to reconnect with our souls — and with our God. Thank you Kristi.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Hi, Denis! This is such an ongoing challenge for everyone, not just writers, when we’re involved with so many very worthy projects and people. Retreat times, even short ones, are so valuable for hearing from God. Often it’s a time of surprises as well. :-)

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