8.23.2016

The Value of the Writing Retreat

Writing outside? Citronella is needed!

Every year I go to a summer writing retreat in the Cape, and these days, we also organize a winter one at my place in the Catskills. I have come to depend on these, to both unwind, and get cracking on my WIP.

Because writing is a rather solitary type of work, being connected to various writing communities is a must, or at least a lifeline. I belong to this amazing group, Untethered Realms, where we bat around story synopses, business stuff and other issues. I also belong to SCBWI, WNBA and RWA. But the extended writing retreat can deliver a more comprehensive array of writerly needs.

Ahoy, the writing gang's here



awkward jimmy-rigging of the AC. Hey, writers aren't electricians!

Catherine with Margarita

Catherine with Maggie

Margarita & Shawn on the sailboat

Matey, are we on a pirate ship, or what?!
coffee with Helen on the porch in PJs

We gab over morning coffee, write all morning, have lunch together and then return to our various writing stations until late afternoon when the ocean calls for swimming. In the evening we take turns cooking dinner, and play writing games after the meal. And we save one night for reading excerpts from our WIPs. Occasionally, we even watch some TV but we watch it as writers, analyzing plot issues, characters, and the like. This time the shows in question were The Night Of and The Night Manager. Oh, and China vs Brazil in women's volleyball.

Of course, we have fun, too! This year we took time to go on a sunset sailboat cruise.

Have you done a writing retreat? What was your experience?

15 comments:

  1. Went to Cape Cod most summers as a kid. It's a magical place. I don't get much time off, so usually spend it traipsing about with family.

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    1. One of these years we should do a retreat with UR authors!

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  2. I think it'd be a ton of fun to go on a writing retreat with other writers. I did have a staycation where I wrote some and edited quite a bit during it. It was nice, but it'd be more fun with a small group of writers. :)

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  3. Looks like an experience that was good for the soul.

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  4. That sounds awesome! One day, I'd love to go on a writing retreat. Wouldn't it be great if we could rent a big cabin in the mountains and have all the UR folks there? :)

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  5. Looks like you had a great time. Hope to go on a retreat some day.

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  6. It does look like fun. My introspective self would pass up the opportunity though.

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    1. Though I think in that group we are all introvert variations.

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  7. That sounds like my kind of writing retreat! I just live on the wrong coast.

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  8. I am green with envy, Catherine. Sounds like a blast. Some day...

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  9. I passed by the Cape last summer heading to Martha's Vineyard. I'll love to go the Cape some day.

    Like Gwen, I'm also green with envy!!!!

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  10. They have a SCBWI retreat every year up in northern Michigan. I'd love to go, but I can't really take time off from work to attend. Maybe one day.

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  11. It's been years since I went to a writing retreat, but your post reminded me how much I got out of one when I did go. It sounds like yours was very rewarding.

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