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?
Recently, during these crazy days of a world pandemic, I was fortunate to spend some time away from home. My husband referred to it as my ‘writing retreat’. We had no access to the outside world, which was very relaxing. It was the perfect way to pause and reflect.
I came to think about why I started on this writing journey in the first place. Back to my childhood, using my imaginary worlds as a way to escape reality. Writing about the things I loved, what I was passionate about.
I preferred to be left alone, and nature was always the perfect environment. Either in the bush or on the beach, my imagination would take hold and there were always stories to tell. I was able to express what could not be said in the real world.
Taking that time away, feeling slightly cut off from civilisation, the days became slower, calmer. It allowed me to focus on the things that were important in my life, and writing has always been a part of that. I had become too caught up on all the other things that are part of the writer’s life when it comes to indie publishing.
My husband told me that without social media as a distraction, I was able to get more work done. What I really needed was discipline. What I needed was to remain focused on the act of writing itself, to tell my stories.
That’s why I started writing in the first place.
Do you remember why you started writing? What do you do to keep disciplined in your writing and avoid distractions? Do you create your own ‘writing retreats’? Have you managed to get some time away from the ‘real world’ lately?
The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.