Writing retreats

UrlaubA forewarning to regular readers of this blog (I know there are a few of you out there) – later this month I will be taking a week off from my regular life to concentrate on writing. That means no work, no blog posts, no slightly less reading… Just writing. And dog walking. This will allow me to hopefully concentrate on writing the end of my fantasy trilogy, and perhaps also work on some other projects I have either half started or not yet begun. This will be from Monday 21st April.

I find it difficult sometimes to concentrate on writing alone, with so many other things going on, and so many distractions. It’s pretty frustrating. It’s tempting to think that I might be the only one who has this problem, but that mustn’t be the case, simply because of the sheer number of writing retreats that are on offer at the minute. Whether going abroad or somewhere closer to home, there seems to be an abundance of budding writers getting together to escape from their regular commitments and spend time writing with likeminded people, in an isolated location. Does this work? Does it improve either productivity or quality? Does it matter, as long as it’s enjoyable and allows a person to just write when they might not have been able to otherwise?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, since I have never been to a writing retreat. I’m not sure its something I would ever pay for (and they are quite expensive). But perhaps I can recreate the concept at home, though in a lot of ways, being at home is part of the problem sometimes. It seems to be a case, then, of identifying the distractions and then knowing how to minimise them.

  • Television
  • Internet
  • Eating (I always seem to be planning the next meal when I’m alone in the house)
  • Sleeping (that is, sleeping late in the morning. I don’t intend to stop sleeping altogether)
  • Reading

For now I know I definitely need to unplug. I have always preferred writing by hand anyway, so I should be able to stay away from the computer. I might have to hide all hand held devices and make sure I don’t turn on the TV. I will have to get up early and set myself regular hours for working. I will also have to stick to them. I don’t think I will be able to stop reading altogether. But I do intend to re-read over my own work to start off with, which I think will actually be quite vital to making progress, so that will (maybe) go some way to quenching my reading thirst.

Can it work? There’s only one way to find out.

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