Norwich, UK

Being a Writer

Writing Retreats – Are They an Essential Part of a Writer’s Work Schedule?

Whilst writer’s retreats seem to be gaining in popularity over the past few years, I am yet to attend one! Each time I flick through my Twitter feed, I’m guaranteed to spot the pictures displayed from a writer friend or colleague or somebody in the profession who has just come back from a writing retreat. I have subsequently developed writers retreat envy because of the amount of times I have sat and scrutinised every picture and story of somebody else’s retreat experience!

What is hard to ignore is that overwhelming feeling that if you have never attended one of these retreats before, you can’t say you’ve experienced the whole writing package! Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration on my part, but I’m beginning to get this feeling that I’m somehow missing out because I am yet to book such an occasion. However, I then think back to my most recent holiday and I wonder if I have been on such retreats almost every year, but not actually realised how like a writer’s retreat they actually were?

Is A Relaxing Holiday Equal to A Writers Retreat?

My last holiday was a week spent in the wonderful Scottish Highlands. A beautiful renovated barn conversion set back in the middle of a forest, the week was all about getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life; and one of the most time-consuming aspects of this was why we went to a place with no Wi-Fi!

Whilst we did a lot of hiking and sightseeing, because there was no internet, no Netflix and no social media, I found myself sitting down to write about our experiences from early afternoon to late evenings during most of our time away. When I got back from our holiday, not only did I feel relaxed and refreshed, but I also had thousands of words written for potential article and story submissions. I had never written so much in one week!

Why Not Create Your Own Writers Retreat?

It wasn’t until my partner mentioned it, but I had effectively created my own writer’s retreat during our break away. In fact, when I looked at it further, considering all our holidays tend to follow the same format as this recent one, I have perhaps been attending my own writing retreats all along!

That doesn’t mean to say I won’t ever attend an organised writer’s retreat; in fact, I would love to see if doing so could further improve and fuel my creative side. Plus, the ability to attend some constructive workshops would be an experience. However, perhaps as writers we already make our own retreats each time we venture away for our own holidays?