Sunday, March 14, 2010

Writers' Retreat

Today my blog reader included an article about artists' retreats. I've been wanting to take one of those. I drool over the pages of stories and ads about or from Caldera, Soapstone, Hypatia, and more. I dream of being given the gift of time - just a week, I think; no, a month, I whine - and a clean calm place to stay and food delivered and no alarms, no appointments, no place I have to go. And preferably near the ocean/in the mountains/on a lake/ with a view. And a place to walk. Nature.

Then I think about the money. Always the money. Why? Because being self-employed makes it expensive to take time off work. And the part-time job I have, I might be able to do somewhere else, at another office, but then I'd be working. Not retreating.

Hey, some of the retreats have stipends: writers in residence; some do.

But would my credentials qualify me? Depends, I know. Some yes; some no. If there were a stipend, maybe I could make the finances work. Or take on some extra work as I can and save it up and then. Maybe.


Or maybe I can make my own retreat. Find someone with a cottage or cabin to loan me or rent cheaply. (I know one place that is sometimes available; and a friend who has a friend who....) I'll have to do the cooking myself and that's okay. Preferable, actually; cheaper. Healthier. Unscheduled. Exactly what I want and when I wanted it.

And I could make it a writing group retreat if I wanted; for the entire time or part of it. A time and place dedicated to writing and soaking in the nothing mandatory and lounging and letting thoughts percolate. Just like the coffee in the kitchen. Or the wine aging on the shelf. Good things come from time.

Like the final revisions on my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel.


A retreat for and by me.
Photograph from HomeLife


  1. Ahhhh, the instinct to draw ones self away in order to concentrate (percolate) on one thing, one task, one passion. Write, think, walk, drink, eat...repeat. Retreat.

    It sounds wonderful Dot. I love the idea of a retreat by and for you...and the idea of a writing group retreat sounds pretty darn good too! There are so many options really.

    I wholeheartedly support and delight in your ponderings on how to make this dream a reality that works for you. You certainly deserve this 'gift of time', you give many gifts to others, why not yourself?

    Here is to visions of the perfect (or nearly so) retreat.

    A kindred dreamer, Deb

  2. This will be wonderful!

    It will happen.

    A mentor of mine, The Very Feminist and Raging Righteous One - Barbara Mor, author of The Great Cosmic Mother, told me that so much of what a writer does must be done as a solitary person, alone with the long process of writing one thing.

    Let's do this - ya know State Parks have little cabins - pretty cheap, too. There are bigger cabins, too with kitchens.

    Or a big group site for tents! Gather round the fire at night and yammer about writing...or NOT!

    Hmmm...Dot, good plan for us all to make happen!


  3. Yes - I want to make this happen. Truthfully, a week is about all I think I can visualize and materialize at the moment.

    Later - build toward something longer. If it seems right.

    In the meantime - build in some writing time into the schedule on a regular basis. No more "catch as catch can."

    Thanks for stopping by and posting your comments.