How to Get the Most Out of a Writing Retreat + a Special Invite

What is a writing retreat?

Simply put, a writing retreat is time you set aside to focus on writing. Many authors will go away some place on a writing retreat where they can escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. However, you do not have to go somewhere to have a writing retreat. You can join a virtual writing retreat.

Writing retreats are for people who have been wanting to write—trying to write—but can’t find the time. Or lacking the motivation. A writing retreat is great for just such occasions for you to map out however many days and focus solely on writing.

The Benefits of a Writing Retreat

One of the main benefits of a writing retreat is that it will boost your productivity. Setting aside valuable time for your writing will do wonders. Also, dedicating more than one day in a row to write can increase your productivity alone. Your story will constantly be on your mind and, in turn, it will make you want to sit down and write.

By setting aside time for a writing retreat, you’re making an effort—and your writing will thank you. You’re not only showing up for your story, but you’re showing up for yourself as well. Both are so valuable in the success of an author.

And, the great thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. By joining a writing retreat with other friends and writers you will boost your motivation and inspiration even higher. You can discuss your story with others, brainstorm, and help one another problem solve. You will have their company every step of the way. Having other people around is not mandatory for a writing retreat but it does make it all the more enjoyable.

How to Prepare

While you can totally jump head first into a spontaneous writing retreat, I would advise doing a little planning first. There are many ways in which you can prepare for a writing retreat. Some ways are:

FOOD. By preparing your food ahead of time, you cut out the chunk of your day spent preparing meals and instead spend that time writing. Even if you simply do a bit of meal planning, it can be very beneficial.

DISTRACTIONS. If you still live at home, or even if you don’t, there are going to be distractions. Life is a distraction. But you can plan ahead of time and be ready to defeat each and every one. If your family is going to be around, consider investing in some headphones (maybe even sound proof) and make note of playlists or songs you enjoy listening to. (That always helps me in blocking out distracting noises.)

Maybe your distraction is more focused around social media. There are ways that you can block certain apps on your phone for set amount of times. Or you can set it to only allow you a certain amount of time on apps such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or whatever is most distracting to you. Prepare ahead of time and this will carve out a huge chunk of time you can dedicate for your writing instead of procrastination.

PLAN. A writing retreat can be similar to joining NaNoWriMo in a way. While you’re not challenging yourself to write a novel in a month, you are challenging yourself to be productive and focus on your writing. To increase that productivity, planning can go a long way in helping.

This can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. Maybe it’s as simple as collecting the highlighters, pens, paper, laptop, notebooks, etc., that you will need. Or maybe you want to plan out the next several scenes in your story or develop your outline a little better. Even if you don’t normally outline, planning/thinking out what will happen next in your story can go a long way in helping during your writing retreat.

Make it Happen

You can say you’re going to do a writing retreat. You can even set a day in your head. But that day comes and goes, and still, nothing happens. Life is busy. But if you’re dedicated to your writing and know that this is something you want to do, then you have to make time for it, no matter what.

Mark it on your calendar, and don’t let anything get in the way. Tell those around you what you plan on doing so that they will know your plans and leave you alone during that time. Maybe even get ahead on other duties so that they won’t distract or get in the way of your retreat.

However, when it comes down to it, writing can be lonely. And maybe right now what you need is a retreat with other writers that can encourage and motivate you along. If you’re nodding your head right now then you are in the right place. Because it just so happens that I am planning a virtual writing retreat for sometime in May!

During this retreat we will have places to brainstorm, encourage one another, inspire each other, and even share snippets! We can post personal achievements and celebrate like crazy. We can share favorite playlists or inspiring songs. We can throw parties or simply talk about writerly things.

We will have a blast!

There are no rules to how you can and cannot spend your retreat. You can set a goal if that is motivating for you, or you can go with the flow and see how much you end up getting. You can decide whether you will be writing, editing, or researching for a project—all are acceptable and totally up to you.

The key here is to be productive. And each writer has a different method for their own personal productivity and creativity. This virtual retreat will be a place for you to get away from the busyness of life and simply find the joy in writing again. Sound like fun? Fill out the form below to sign up as well as give me your thoughts and opinions!

Also, share the link or this blog post with a friend! The more the merrier in my opinion. I can’t wait for all the fun we are going to have and I hope you all love the idea as much as I do!

Your turn!

Have you ever done a writing retreat or joined one with friends? Did you find success and productivity during it? Do you think a virtual writing retreat is what you need right now in your writing?

Blessings, Allyson


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