I attended the ANWA Southwest Region Writing Retreat last month. Last year I didn't go and missed the opportunity to renew my spirit. This year I told myself I was going no matter what. Of course, like everyone else that desires to set aside time for a specific purpose many challenges and obstacles cropped up in the path to hinder me from going. But I went and I am truly grateful.
The general public and usually family do not understand the need for a writer to have uninterrupted time devoted to writing. Any serious writer will tell you that retreats are essential. Holly Robinson recently wrote about writing retreats and gave sage advice in her blog. She recommends every writer take a retreat four times a year. Retreats do not have to be costly. Writing Retreats are not the same as Writing Workshops or Writers Conferences.
Retreats can be as simple as setting aside alone time in a place that is quiet and conducive to writing without any distractions such as phones, internet, television and so forth. Retreats can be done alone or with a small group of friends. One important rule that needs to be followed is no chatting during writing time. Visiting and or critiquing should be done at a set time in the evening. The majority of time should be spent on writing, writing, writing, and more writing. Of course that also includes editing and rewriting.
When retreat is over the writer returns home with renewed spirit and energy to tackle tasks not related to writing and renewed hope and insight for their current work in progress.