The Creative Retreat

For a long time I’ve wanted to start writing more. The cold season would have
been the perfect period to increase the number of hours I spend writing, but
last winter was a difficult period, and despite my best intentions it was mostly
spent with keeping my nose above water. Now, as things have calmed down, I
finally did it: I organised a little Writing Retreat at home, just for myself. The
goal was to get me going again, to show myself that I can write meaningful pieces
if I just sit down and DO it.
Doing a writing retreat requests some organisation, but not very much:

• Choose a date without any obligations, and tell family and friends
you’ll be out of touch for that entire day.
• Clean the house the day before, prepare some extra nice meals to keep
you going and some healthy snacks if needed (fruit, nuts etc.)
• Load your computer and turn your cell phone off. Yes, I felt that was
necessary to have peace of mind.
• Get enough writing material: a new writing book, a refill for your
fountain pen, sharp pencils.
• Prepare your schedule, at least a rough draft. Set your goal: X hours
of writing!

By chance I had chosen the perfect day for my retreat: weather was really crappy:
foggy and rainy and temperature had dropped below being pleasant, so I could
calmly stay inside most of the day without missing a beautiful day outside. My
schedule involved one-hour slots of writing, sandwiched with brisk walks, eating
in a meditative way, a little gardening, and indoor exercises.
When I had finished the last one-hour writing slot, I revised my work. I had written
on prompts (randomly chosen single words or whole sentences, music, colours etc.),
and for my Monday newsletters I had written two new one pieces. A long letter to an old
friend was ready for the mailbox, and I had not only brainstormed subjects for my blog,
but also written outlines for three new posts and almost finished off one. Much of
this material was written by hand, as I normally do with personal letters and drafts,
but some of it could already be given the finishing touch on the computer.
This retreat day was a wonderful experience! It strengthened my self-confidence as
a “writer” and inspired me to increase my weekly writing schedule quite a bit. I know
how important it is to express myself (even if nobody reads it) and I know how much
better I feel when I let the words flow out of my pen for hours. It is as if a mirror
was held in front of me and I finally see who I am.
You might wonder why I didn’t call this post “The Writing Retreat”? Well, what
goes for writing also goes for any other creative process. If you want to get
going with yours, be it painting, photography, needlework or anything else, why
don’t you try setting aside a day like this for yourself? It works wonders!
And I would love to hear about your experience ☺

The grey weather made it easier to stay inside and write 😉

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