For Tuesday’s Definition of “writing retreat,” I spent plenty of paragraphs describing how amazing these getaways can be. Oh, they’re so lovely! And oh, they’re so perfect! And oh, don’t you want to go on your ideal out-in-the-woods or beach or exotic writing retreat so badly now?
Then, at the very end, I slammed you with these lines:
Oops. Did I forget to mention cost before this point? In that case, that’ll be the subject matter of Thursday’s Challenge. We’ll broach that aspect of writing retreats… and whether they’re really worth it or not.
What a jerk, right? Kind-of, yes. But if I had just thrown the cost out at you right from the start, you never would have even considered it, would you have?
And you really should consider it. Not that you really should go. Just really consider going, which is why this week’s Challenge is what it is:
See whether a writing retreat is right for you.
If it weren’t for one single factor, Innovative Editing would encourage every writer to go on a writing retreat.
But alas, that one single factor is significant: money. Because writing retreats are, in fact, retreats where you get away to some overnight spot that isn’t home, they can reasonably cost anywhere from $500 to $1,200. And unreasonably, they can cost more than that.
So how do you know if they’re worth the cost? Here are some (non-rigged) questions to ask yourself...
Question #1: Can you afford it, financially and time-wise? Clearly, if you can’t swing $600, then you shouldn’t go to a $600 writing retreat. These events can be awesome, but they’re not worth going into debt over. Very little is.
Likewise, if hubby or wifey can’t watch the kids, it’s not like you can tell a toddler to take care of himself for the weekend while you go off and write. There are simply some things in life that are more important than writing retreats. Shocking, I know.
Question #2: Do you find yourself struggling to find the time to write? If your answer here is yes – and your answer to the first two-sided question was yes too – then the right writing retreat might be just what you need. The whole point is to remove you from all your normal distractions and dump you into the middle of someplace inspiring and conducive to your authorial aspirations. But even if your answer is no to this one, it doesn’t automatically mean you should nix the idea. It could still be just a welcoming getaway for you to interact with your manuscript-in-the-making, fellow writers and awesome instructors. Which is why the next and final question exists.
Question #3: Are you looking for easier-than-writer’s-conference networking opportunities with in-the-know professionals, and fellow story scribblers or non-fiction manuscript makers? Writing retreats are almost always run by industry professionals: published authors, manuscript editors, publishers or literary agents. Probably more of the first sort. I know that my fellow published author Lia Mack and I are going to be offering a retreat in 2018 (exact date and place TBD). People who understand the publishing process or who have done it themselves can give some truly awesome insights about the publishing route in general and feedback about your personal writing process specifically.
That’s why, for our upcoming three-day writing retreat, Lia and I will be featuring:
4-6 presentations about the ins and outs of writing like a pro
One-on-one sessions for you to ask whatever you want to ask about your manuscript or publishing aspirations
An open panel for you to voice any lingering questions you might have about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it
Plenty of writing time.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in – and can afford, both financially and time-wise – then follow Innovative Editing on Facebook or download the special report – “Writing Tips 101” – for free to receive updates as they come.
That includes any early-bird discounts or deals to make this particular writing retreat more affordable for you!