Retreat to Advance Your Writing

Retreat to Advance Your Writing

Some people think retreats are what armies do when they’ve screwed up, but that isn’t all. For instance, what about an untutored retreat for writers and creatives? Imagine finding space for refreshing personal time away from a familiar, perhaps feeling-stale, environment. What’s more, the agenda is yours.

In my experience, a retreat gives me a chance to enhance my skills, know-how and approach to my creative pursuits. Who knows, as part of my journey, I may discover new and unexpected possibilities.

It’s about me. It’s about you.

• Imagine being in a place conducive to personal development and self-discovery. 

• Imagine the agenda being yours and yours alone. 

• Imagine opportunities to share, assist and be assisted by others, as you choose. 

Undoubtedly, having a space to work privately, and time for sharing with others, is a healthy opportunity for personal writing plans and ambitions. Furthermore, the joy of connecting with people steeped in writing and creativity is delightful.

A place for a retreat

We are all different. What environment suits you? Of course, some of us want time alone. Inevitably, others appreciate company. More often than not, people like a bit of both. A venue is far more than simply a building to sleep and work in. An excellent location enriches possibilities. The Highlands, Islands, Scottish Borders and rural areas spring to mind, stuffed as they are with fabulous possibilities and inspiring environments.

The benefits of a retreat

As a matter of fact, on my first untutored retreat I arrived with a simple work plan. Basically, I’d do more of the same without everyday distractions. Then I went to the kitchen for a brew and a biscuit. Naturally enough, a quick hello with anyone present couldn’t be avoided. Often, helpful and focused conversations evolved. Subsequently, over meals and breaks, sharing continued and deepened. Before long, beyond personal work, I spent time here and there with others. What’s more, activities (even wild swimming) and conversations balanced my solo work and made my retreat experience a productive and enjoyable adventure.

A productive environment

It can’t be denied that the exchange of ideas and mutual support often leads to accomplishment along with helpful insights and solutions. For instance, you may have a task in mind: completing a story, editing a manuscript, designing a cover, working on a script, writing a poem, etc. Without doubt, time, space and informal contact with other creatives builds awareness, generates ideas and stimulates action. 

Before long, being in a pleasant enabling space alongside people who want to be there and are willing to share is galvanising. Even better, fruitful friendships can continue long after a retreat is over. 

Questions

Of course, considering what I’ve learned, when I attend my next retreat, I prepare using questions like these:

  • Why am I going? 
  • What do I want from this? 
  • What will I work on?

For sure, other people can be an excellent resource and sounding board as you explore and learn in an alternative, gently productive untutored retreat environment. Of course you can be a hermit if it suits your agenda.

Nurtured and productive

Apart from the writing results you want, if the catering is excellent you might gain weight. Who cares? 

Productivity and nurturing go hand in hand. Search, discovery, new friendships and growth are probable outcomes.

Enjoy.

Mac

Hi, I’m Mac Logan, author of the Angels’ Share series. Thanks for reading my work. CORRUPTION, CRIME AND ESTABLISHMENT MISCHIEF In my life I've had a few unhappy experiences involving bad people and corrupt practices. Short of a willingness to spend a lifetime in jail, a vengeance trail of murder and mayhem has few acceptable alternatives. Writing is one of them. The pursuit of evil people may end in tragedy for both sides of an investigation. Tears sometimes trickle down my cheeks, as I write. Sad things happen at times. Crime fiction provides a means of pursuing nasty people with satisfying, imaginative robustness. My thrillers offer a sense of recourse against corrupt people and cadres who screw us and steal our money. PAYBACK? Even though such people hurt me in the past, I wish them no harm. In fact, at one level I’m grateful to such deceivers for providing, as they do, the basis of The Angels’ Share series. It’s good to have a solid foundation for fiction: rooted in grievance and amplified by a surging (if somewhat graphic) imagination. PRIVATE LIFE I love family, cooking, good company, banter, sport, fun, and an occasional drop of ‘The Cratur’. I live in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. BLOG, PROSE, POETRY AND ALL THAT Writing is part of me. My efforts started in childhood. It took me many years to admit I’m a poet. Could it be a man thing? It seems I’m approaching 200 blogs … can I be that old? ARTICLES AND STUFF With many articles published, often on business and the human side of work, I changed direction a few years back. Tired of the dry-stuff, my muse hauled me into writing: thrillers, poetry, business and Celtic tales. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT As an author who aims to entertain, I’m eager for feedback. Your views on any aspect of my work are important to me. Please do get in touch. I’m a Member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers Association.

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