Recently, I spent several days in the Blue Mountains, a location that inspires some of my stories. Rather than splash out at attending writing retreats specifically tailored for writers, I create my own.
I’ve been doing this for some years now, which initially started with me going it alone, but these days, now that the kids are older, it’s whenever my husband and I go away. I’m now in the habit of packing my laptop and writing notes with me, so I can continue writing and gaze out the window admiring the different scenery.
The past three trips away, I’ve worked on the first two novellas in my Marsden Hall series in their various incarnations. I’ve thought about plot outlines while soaking in an outdoors hot tub, edited by the beach, as well as editing while being snowed in in a log cabin.
This is not to say that I won’t knock back the opportunity to go on a writing retreat to meet other writers if ever I get the chance (I was lucky to have been chosen to participate in one back in 2009), but it’s having that control of where and when I choose to write. Being alone or with one other person, also allows me to focus and not be too distracted by others.
New places and experiences are always great fodder for stories. We may look forward to a bit of R&R, but then, a writer never truly switches off! 😉
*And the good news is, the first draft of Marsden Hall 3 is done!! Watch this space!*
Do you create your own writing retreats, or have you ever been on a professional one? Have you found them beneficial? What’s your idea of an ideal writing retreat?