Friday, August 17, 2012

Fridaydream: writer's colonies.

I'm not a writer, and this still sounds like paradise.

Have you ever been to a writer's retreat? Is there a "staycation" version? How do you create the literal and metaphorical space to do your best work?


Kara said...

There is DEFINITELY a "staycation" version, but it takes a bit of pre-planning and a very supportive partner :). I've hosted a few at my own house, which is in a relatively quiet part of town (NO traffic, NO city lights, no noise but cows at night and roosters in the AM). I think it's important for writers to get together...if for no other reason than to make connections. When you work alone (ALL. THE. TIME), it's easy to forget that it's important to connect with other human beings on a regular basis. Connecting with others who share your love of words, grammar and may also understand the direct relationship between coffee and increased word count is important! I almost feel like I work better if I'm surrounded by people who "get me". Connecting online is one thing, but being together physically is a whole other thing entirely. (In a good way.)
As far as going away for retreats...the expense is totally worth it if you can swing it. I wouldn't trade one minute of any retreat I've ever been on. Honestly, I've never been as productive as I was when I spent a full 8 days in the mountains of Pennsylvania at Highlights. No phone, no TV, no distractions. Absolutely wonderful. And I second what was said in the article (about another retreat site) is the only place I've ever felt homesick for that wasn't actually home.

Shoshanna Evers said...

I've already told DH that I plan on booking some hotel time for myself and my laptop so I can get a lot of writing done without any distractions.

Stay-cations where I stay at home and write inevitably devolve into DH calling for help with DS, or asking if I want dinner when I'm right in the middle of something awesome, etc. I need silence and uninterrupted time.

When I work from home, I write about 1K a day. I'm envisioning 5K days and up if I'm out of the house and away from distractions!

Adele Carsson said...

The library is my go-to place for getting my best work done. It's quiet, there are plenty of study rooms, and if I need a break I can just grab a good book and relax my mind for a little bit.

The only thing missing is food...though I will confess to surreptitiously eating a bag of peanut M&Ms out of my purse one afternoon in the Manga section. I got the hairy eyeball from a fifteen-year-old goth boy because of the crackling noise from the M&Ms bag, but he didn't turn me in.

Jessica Brockmole said...

I've always dreamed about a solitary writing escape to a beautifully inspiring location, something involving serene quiet, breathtaking views, and lots of tea. The closest I've gotten is prevailing upon willing grandparents to stay with the children and tagging along when husband goes to an annual conference in the fall. I get a hotel room mostly to myself and vending machines, which is better than nothing!

Courtney Miller-Callihan said...

Jessica, your comment about hotel rooms made me laugh-- I was solo for several days last month at RWA Nationals, and having a whole hotel room to myself felt like such incredible freedom. Even though I was working, it felt like a vacation, just having the place to myself when I got back to the room at night. Parenthood really shifts the goal posts, doesn't it?

Jessica Brockmole said...

Ha! Absolutely. I still remember the day, early in Mommyhood, when I got to finish a cup of coffee from beginning to end. Celebration ensued.