Writing Retreats

Where and how can you retreat to get your writing done?  I'm coming down from the high of conducting a three day Writers Retreat in Lake Arrowhead and thinking about how writers can make their own silence and solitude in the middle of ordinary life. Our retreat was held at the UCLA Conference Center on the lake and it was the perfect place, a magical place in fact. Fireplaces everywhere – including the room we met in for workshop – gorgeous views, silence, great food and a friendly attentive staff. (Frankly I would like to live there.) So for three days it was the ideal place to write.  But life is not ideal (i.e. my computer crashed this morning and I'm on a borrowed one)- so how can you find solitude, how can you get away from your own life to go inside yourself and get your writing done? (or whatever art or craft you need to pursue.)  After a retreat or after a class in which you had deadlines for getting your writing done – how do you continue?  There are no easy answers of course. Every writer has to figure this out for himself or herself. Let us know how you do it – or what your stuggle is like.

Soon – another post with the new Mac I'm finally going to buy and some of the pictures from the retreat. And thanks to all the beautiful and talented writers who showed up this weekend. You and your stories are in my heart.

  11 comments for “Writing Retreats

  1. November 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I wish I could have been there!

  2. November 10, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Hope you can come next time. Missed you!

  3. lisa delong
    November 10, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Hi Barbara,
    Can I go back?! Let’s re-wind the clock and just stay a little longer. I came home to all three children waiting for me at the door, each with their own mini-crisis, and my mom, needing me to take her home. Thankfully my husband made a delicious taco dinner. Even so I still had to do the clean-up. Arrowhead-take me away!

  4. Barbara Force
    November 10, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I heartily agree with Lisa! Take me back. I came home to houseguests and a clean, fluffy squealing puppy. The puppy was fine, but I wanted some quiet, down time to process the retreat. So that’s on hold for now, until Thurs when I can have quiet. It was a fabulous weekend.

  5. November 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    The retreat sounds wonderful! I wish I could have gone!
    I really like the question you pose…how do you retreat into writing without going away? For me, sometimes all it takes is an empty house. I also try to find a place that is unfamiliar. Just getting out of my daily space helps me shed enough to feel free to write.
    Thanks for the post!

  6. Rossana D'Antonio
    November 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Barbara –
    Thanks for the opportunity to share in this wonderful experience. I’m sad it had to end. But i come away with a tonload of inspiration. And I owe it to you, first and foremost, and the other amazing folks that shared it with me.

  7. November 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Lisa and Barb – Yes, come back! I’m doing it again in May I hope.
    Neha – Yes – going to a coffee shop or the library sometimes makes for a mini retreat.
    Rossana – Glad to hear it was inspiring. Come on back!

  8. Loren Stephens
    November 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Count me in for May.
    As far as the writing thing goes, I have rented an office to complete my novel. It’s the old “you follow your money” concept. I am paying rent on an office so I better make good use of it and fast. It is a real luxury since I have worked out of my house for the past five years. Now I have a place to go that is just for me — quiet, beautiful with a koi pond outside my window and a waterfall in the middle of Brentwood. Hope that I can stay there for a while longer. Best, Loren

  9. November 13, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Loren – I’ll put you on the first email notice list –

  10. Debra
    November 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Oh Barbara! How I wish I could have been with all of you at the writer’s retreat! My life is on the lopsided spin cycle, if you know what I mean. I’m looking forward to more balanced days. (?) maybe. You are such an inspiration!

  11. Susan
    November 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    could you put me on the email list too? slh2346@aol.com

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