Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Writer Retreats: Do You Need Them?

Do you need to attend a writer's retreat in order to produce a publishable book? 


Even Stephen King says those who attend writing classes, courses, and retreats are, "... all too often, looking for a magic bullet or a secret ingredient or possibly Dumbo's magic feather, none of which can be found in classrooms or at writing retreats..."

But are they a fabulous time to fuel your inspiration and creativity? 

Heck yeah.

If you read on in King's ON WRITING, he also adds, they do "...offer at least one undeniable benefit: in them, the desire to write fiction or poetry is take seriously... It is entirely permissible to spend large chunks of your time off in your own little dreamworld."

For me, a writer's retreat is not about the place, it's about the time spent writing. You don't have to spend buckoos of bucks on a writing getaway either.

I mean, just look at George Bernard Shaw's rotating writing hut. Key word: hut.

Shaw designed the hut to rotate to follow the sunshine, because for him, writing in the sunshine was his own little dreamworld.

Let's go back to King's idea of writing retreats allow writers to spend large amounts of time writing, which is a biggie for most modern day writers. 

We're busy people! Most of us don't have the luxury of spending all day at the computer. We've got kids, families, pets, housework, meal preps, day jobs, errands, and yes, time for sleep and a decent shower.

Writing retreats, no matter how long, allow us time to write. 

They give us permission to spend time with our stories, getting to know our characters, with ourselves, and occasionally with other writerly folk.

This weekend, I'm heading to east Texas with five other writers for a writer getaway. I'm quite certain my room will not rotate with the sun, but who's complaining? 

Next week, I'll post part two of Writer Retreats.

Write on, folks~


  1. Great post, Candilynn. I agree, it isn't about the place, or the people, it's about getting into that mindset where only writing matters. Enjoy your time in east Texas, I look forward to hearing all about it. :D

  2. I love conferences and writing classes! They give me inspiration. I would also love to invest in a writing retreat, only for the tranquility and challenge. :)

  3. loved that treat about writer retreats! wish i had a time machine to pause the world so i could write more!

  4. I did one with a group of women-- it was such a growing time for me. Next up-- a weekend ALONE. Bliss.

  5. I've been on one retreat and it was wonderful. I got so much done! Some day I'd love to do it again. :)

  6. Blogging with fellow writers is my retreat -- writing is a lonely affair. I have to do it alone. No committee books for me. I want my horse to look like a horse not a camel!

    Have fun in East Texas and may all your writing be stellar. :-)

  7. I'll post a report next week, Clare. I hope to get a lot written.
    Inspiration and time is my goal, Diane. :)
    A time machine would be great, Tara!
    Julie, I recall reading about your experience.
    Rachel, here's to you finding time to go along on another. :)
    A horse, not a camel. Funny, Roland. The fact I'm going with 5 other ladies doesn't mean I won't spend most of my time alone with my story. :)

  8. Me build rotating shed lol. Dog walks are my mini retreats. Have a great weekend!

  9. The Shaw photos are really cute. I always attend a summer writing retreat at Cape Cod, and I've actually had two at my "farm" in the Catskills. They are always energizing.