Retreat and Develop Your Writing

Retreat and Develop Your Writing

Retreat and Advance Your Writing

Imagine being able to pause time. To hit the ‘off switch’ on your everyday life, for just a moment. And catapult yourself into a space where you can just ‘be’. With no distractions. This is what going on retreat is all about. – Carol Rider

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. As part of my retreat experience, alone and with other people I always 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. Others may appreciate companionship. 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 a 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. 


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, you might gain weight if the catering is excellent. Who cares? Not me!

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


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