Writing Retreats?

Why should I go on a writing retreat when I have a home office set-up that gives me plenty of opportunity to amass all the words? I mean, it takes time and money to travel, eat out, etc. Even considering that many of the daily distractions won’t exist, will it be worth it to head out to do what I can do right here?

These questions swirled through my brain as I packed my bag not long ago and left for a retreat with some of my writer buds. I’ve done writing retreats several times before and have always come home rather surprised at how much I managed to accomplish. And that’s with–or despite–ubiquitous high-speed internet and face-time with people I haven’t hung out with nearly enough.

I’ve been giving some thought to why it’s easier for me to write in the company of other writers. For me, it’s a matter of accountability. When I see the intense concentration of my friends’ faces as they sit together grinding out words, peer pressure seizes me. My urge to sink into social media drops away. I find myself opening that unfinished piece and wrestling with it. Oddly enough, writing on retreat works best for me when I’ve reached a knotty place in the story. I find I’m less inclined to throw in the towel.

Caveat: Your mileage may vary. No two writers go about it in exactly the same way, so I’m pretty sure retreats don’t work well for some. Nonetheless, if you get the chance, give it a shot!

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