Writing Retreats: Yay or Nay and Lists of Current Offerings
When I started writing again, this whole writing retreat thing was new to me. It sounds fabulous to me. Going somewhere that is not-home, working on only writing, and chatting with other writers. Aw yeah. Except: I’m poor. Sadness.
But, isn’t it worth it if you think it’ll help you as a writer?
Oh yes! But, I have a family and a life and ain’t nobody got time for that. Writing retreats are excellent opportunities, but I want to look at whether it really is all it’s cracked up to be for the average writer.
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Writing Retreats – A Waste of Time by John Rickett
When making a decision, it’s always best to consider both sides, which is why I read this article. Considering retreat popularity right now, there’s not a lot out there refuting the trend. Rickett, though, spoke up on his ideas about the retreat on Max Dunbar’s blog. He suggests:
- Aspiring writers tend to use the group activities as a “personal therapy” time.
- The workshops and group activities typically become dominated by a few attention-seekers while everyone else avoids participation.
- Many writers are “antisocial” and the group activities only make them want to avoid people more, though, the programs try to push that philosophy.
- Conditions that retreats provide are not readily available for the average person and should not be relied on as a trigger for writing inspiration.
- Not all retreats guarantee accommodations for your stay, so you can come out of a lot of money in addition to the registration costs.
I’m not gonna lie, on some of those I have to agree. I notice in some writing communities that people reach out for affirmation as a person more than they do help with their writing and as a writer. Writing is typically an individual act that requires focus, so socializing with others can be a distraction to that process. The relaxing environment is a rarity and can create false inspiration. Not to mention, the registration for all retreats are in the hundreds to thousands of dollars.
The dude has a point.
I guess we know where you stand then.
Not necessarily. Trust me, a vacation to purely write is up my alley.
When You’re Ready to Move from Summer Reading to Summer Writing by Jennifer Howard
Similarly, knowing benefits is just as integral as the detriments. This article helped to think about that as Howard suggests on her blog:
- You’ll find more support from those around you at the retreat.
- There are retreats that cater to your interests–running, eating, etc.–while also working on your writing.
- It’s excellent for networking, as some have published authors (though not big names), agents, and publishers there seeking new material.
- It encourages social behavior and support amongst writers by inviting everyone to join, at any level.
- It gets you away from your day-to-day life and gives you plenty of time to write.
Well, doesn’t that sound magical! I would love to get away to another country or state and do nothing but talk about writing, share my writing, and write my writing–like 8 hours a day of only writing. No kids, no hubs, no work, no nothing. I would love to meet more writers and have excellent conversations about one of my passions without all the drama of online trolls. Not to mention having the opportunity to possibly pitch to agents and get feedback before I pay to have my formal submission possibly rejected for something I could have corrected before I paid! Yeah, it’s expensive, but my passion for writing makes it worth every dime.
She really does make me want to save up for one of these.
Considering all of this, the choice is really up to you.
It may be exactly what you need to get your writing ball rolling down the hill of no return at great speed. So, here are some lists to help you see what writing retreats are offered from around the world.
- The Best Writer’s Workshops in the Country from The Masters Review
- 37 Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend in 2018 from The Write Life
- Best Writing Retreats for 2017 – 2018 from CreativIndie
- 26 Workshops and Retreats for 2017 from Kotobee Blog
- 10 of the Best Writing Retreats from Novelicious
- 5 Writing Retreats Around the Globe to Kick-start your Creative Juices from The Globe and Mail
- Writing Retreats from Laura Davis
- Our 10 Favorite Writing Retreats from Booksparks
- 5 Amazing Summer Writing Retreats from The Writer’s Circle
Hmmm…what to choose, what to do…
Don’t do it.
Now, hold on. The whole retreat concept is an excellent one for anyone because we do need an escape from civilization.
I agree, but you don’t have to come out of pocket like that.
Here’s what I would do.
You don’t have to pay all the money to go on the retreat with a group. While it’s lovely to meet new people, you may have just as much fun going with your current writing buddies or those who live in your area. How about a staycation in town. Turn off your phone, meet your friends for breaks and food in between writing for updates and chat before you go back to purely writing. No social media, no work, just writing. It’s much cheaper, you still get away, and you can choose your location based on your finances. Just don’t do it at home or you’re more tempted to do your normal routine.
Maybe that’s just the broke person in me. XD
What about you? Do you think writing retreats are worth it? Have you gone on a writing retreat before? What was it like? Worth it or not? Let us know below and on social media. And, don’t forget to sign up for more writing topics coming to your inbox bi-weekly with my newsletter.