Creating Your own Writing Retreat.

Free image courtesy KatjaFiona on Pixabay.

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?

7 thoughts on “Creating Your own Writing Retreat.

  1. Yay for finishing your first draft of Marsden Hall 3!

    I have never been on a writing retreat. I do want to ask for one for Christmas. Just think, no chores, no dog duties, no Internet for three days! Or two, because I’d miss my husband. Or even one day. Yeah, one day would be good.

    1. Debbie Johansson 01/06/2022 — 5:15 am

      Hi Priscilla. I hope you get to go on a writing retreat one day, with or without other writers. It’s worth doing, at least once.

      Many thanks for the congratulations! Now I just need to get through the editing process. 😉

  2. I’ve always done my own solitary writers retreats. I’m a very particular person, and I prefer to be alone when I write and in the right setting. Basically I’m trying to say I’m a handful, haha!

    I’m overdue for another writers retreat, but I’d love to take a snowy one out in the middle of nowhere or in fall when the leaves are changing.

    So jealous of your cabin experience!

    1. Debbie Johansson 01/06/2022 — 5:25 am

      Hi Jonny! Good on you for creating your own writing retreats. It sounds the same for me, although in my case I’d say I’m bit of a control freak. 😉 As for my cabin experience, we were lucky to get there as they closed the road after us. So plenty of snow, and lots of peace and quiet. My only problem was I kept thinking of The Shining. Spooky!

      1. Aw, thanks! I’m more of a lone wolf when it comes to the act of writing. I can get along with others, but it’s easier to just follow my own agenda and do my thing.

        Oh wow, that’s crazy! I don’t blame you for thinking of the Shining. So iconic, especially for the wintry isolation part of things.

      2. Debbie Johansson 02/06/2022 — 1:36 am

        I’m completely with you when it comes to having your own agenda and doing your own thing when it comes to writing. I’m easily distracted and am always comparing myself to others. We need to do whatever works for us.

        Huge congratulations by the way on your latest release! I’ve added it to my reading list. 🙂

      3. Great minds think alike! Yeah, I think it just boils down to what works for each person. I’m sure plenty of people have great writer’s retreats with others, it’s just not something I’m very interested in, especially if I don’t know the people attending. Stranger danger, haha!

        Thanks! One more story to keep people up at night. One of my friends covers her ears when I talk about it because it creeps her out lol.

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