So you’ve determined that a writing retreat is right for you. You even already signed up for updates about Lia Mack and Jeannette DiLouie’s 2018 writers’ getaway. Because, hey, it sounds completely worthwhile: inspiring, informative and inexpensive as it can be.
What’s not to love!
Valid points all around. And Lia and I are just as excited about this adventure as you are. We’ve got some awesome plans that we simply cannot wait to implement! In fact, we’re going down to a potential place after Thanksgiving to officially scope it out.
It looks picture-perfect on the website, but we want to explore it in person before we book it for you.
(Book it for you. Ha!)
Unintentional puns aside, as the organizers of this writing retreat, we have a major responsibility to you. It’s our job to find the best location for the best price with the best food for you to enjoy in and around the best schedule with the best line-up to impress your writing selves.
That’s a lot to consider, and we’re taking every bit of it seriously. Which is why Writing Rule #44 exists.
How much you get accomplished on a writing retreat is largely up to you.
You can have the perfect setting with the utmost inspiration. But if you’re going to spend your time chit-chatting with fellow retreaters or checking your Twitter feed, then you might as well just spend your money on a regular old vacation. Writing retreats are for writers and writing.
Everyone else need not apply.
None of that is meant to be harsh or elitist or anywhere close to exclusive. It’s meant to protect your investment.
Every writer at any stage of the writing process should feel welcome at a writing retreat. Attendees should go into them inspired and leave encouraged, ready to write more than they’ve already written.
You can’t chop that last sentence up into parts, discarding some and keeping others. It’s written the way it is for a reason. And it’s so important that it’s worth repeating.
Attendees should go into them inspired and leave encouraged, ready to write more than they’ve already written.
Ask yourself this: If you find inspiration and encouragement without actually writing anything, was the writing retreat really worth your time and money?
You’re more than welcome to your own opinion here, but I’d argue that your investment didn’t pay off.
As such, if you’re going to attend one of these fantastic getaways – whether Lia’s and mine, or someone else’s – you need to go into it with the goal of making progress on your story or autobiography or non-fiction manuscript.
By all means, have fun with that goal! Writing retreats are meant to be savored and stress-free. That’s why setting is such an important factor to keep in mind.
Enjoy the company of your fellow authors and authors-in-the-making. Bask in the inspiring environment around you and get encouraged hearing fellow attendees share their own writing journeys, letting you know that you’re not even close to being alone in your struggles and triumphs.
Just make sure that your manuscript-starting or continuing or completing goal is front and center during all of that. That's the point of writing retreats, and Lia and I can't wait to show you how powerful they can be!