Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Writing Retreat

I need a writing retreat.  I thought my summer vacation would have served that purpose, but it didn't.  To get the work done, I need time to myself without other people to worry about.

I don't like the idea of a formal writing retreat where there's a planned itinerary.  I just want to fly to the beach, get a room alone in my favorite hotel, sit on the balcony, and write.  I can think of nothing better than going to the beach off-season and having it mostly to myself. 

Luckily, my husband does enough travel, the kind of travel that takes him 24 hours to get to his destination, that I'm certain he has enough miles to cover my flight.  I've been boycotting flying since all the TSA nonsense.  I'm willing to take the pat-down (but not irradiation) to have a few days alone with one of my manuscripts.

When I did software development, my most productive days were days when I worked at home.  I put my laptop on my lap and put my feet up on the ottoman in my favorite chair.  I worked on an application nonstop until it was done.  Now I can't sit in that chair because of a back problem, and the room has become a giant toy box.  My Muse is scared of that room.

What I want is a balcony overlooking the ocean, a stiff-backed chair, and room service.    

32 comments:

  1. That sounds like heaven to me. I love going to the beach during the off-season, and this sounds like the perfect retreat. I hope you are able to get this set up!

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    1. I checked the hotel availability and emailed my husband. He told me he would have to check with his boss to see if he needed to travel during that time. I am lacking the words to express how that makes me feel. (Not really - it would just be a long rant of a reply.)

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  2. Oh, the beach! The sun. The waves. The quiet solitude. No interruptions. Just me, my coffee and chocolate and a few Dr. Peppers. And my WIP.

    That sounds perfect:)

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    1. Yes, the sun but no sunburn, which is the perfection of the beach in late September.

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  3. i hope you get it, it sounds divine :)

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    1. The longer the day goes on, it seems it isn't going to happen.

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  4. That sounds like my kind of heaven too!

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  5. Ohmigosh, I sooooooo want that toooooooo! :-) Fingers crossed for us both!
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. I really want to live there always and just take time off from writing to walk on the beach with my family. All we need is a lot of money.

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  6. That would be perfect. I have days when I feel like that. Lately, I've been writing from my bed at night since all I have is the kitchen table and a very chatty daughter.

    I close the door to my room and turn on soothing music. And type away.

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    1. My back hurts too much to write in bed. I'm glad you found a place to escape.

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  7. Find yourself someplace really relaxing and just go, Tonja.

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    1. I'll figure something out even if I can't go soon.

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  8. I didn't sign up for the Smithers retreat soon enough and now I'm on their waiting list. I could just slap myself upside the head, except it would hurt. And besides, my neighbours would probably wonder. I take the laptop out on the deck, but the sun's too hot and I need sunglasses, and I can't see the screen with sunglasses on. I know, life is rough on Cluculz Lake. I need an Ipad. Okay, not really, but it would be fun. I could sit on the deck and pretend to write, but watch movies on my Ipad instead.

    Hi Tonja!

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    1. Oh, I forgot to mention that the boats, water skiers, and tubers are distracting, so maybe I'll stay at my desk, take back pain killers. Oh, I know, life is doubly tough.

      What would be great is if I had a retreat here and all the writers I knew came and fed me grapes and strawberries and read to me, and ....

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    2. My beach is more peaceful than that. No boats except on the horizon, no tubers, no water skiers. But there's sand. And wind. So much sun and wind that it feels like it's being driven into your pores. I probably risk messing up my laptop with sand, which is probably why I didn't write during my vacation, huh?

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  9. That sounds kind of fun. I guess I'm lucky as far as writers go. I live alone so there are no distractions when I want to write. But I'd rather have more people around that enjoyed my company. I think that would make me happier.

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    1. All work and no play.... I would go a little nuts if I were completely alone. I'm pretty isolated as is. Quiet would be fantastic. My small person has two more years before full-time school. I think I will be terrifyingly productive then. For now, not so much.

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  10. Your writing retreat sounds great to me. Who wouldn't like to write on a balcony overlooking the ocean? Maybe it is time you take some alone time for yourself, even if you have to fly somewhere. You definitely deserve it. Besides, if anyone asks, you are going to work, after all, writing is a job.

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    1. There's a lake about an hour north of my house and a small house for sale within a short walk of the lake. If I could find something affordable like that on a lake that's not a far drive, that would be perfect. I could invite all my writer friends for a retreat. :)

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  11. I want a writing retreat too! I keep trying to figure out how to get it without traveling or spending money LOL.

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  12. Wow, sounds divine, Tonja!

    And I hear you. I'd love to have a secluded room with a view for writing, but life and finances seem destined to prevent getting both at the same time. Secluded I can get (my dank basement office), and a view I can get (ok, not a beach, but at least trees and grass and birds, although it's also filled with family and other distractions), but not both.

    I've recently read of writers who can write in complete chaos, with family and kid craziness at full volume right next to them. I envy that super-power, and I'm beginning to think I need to somehow cultivate it if I ever want to finish my WIP. ;^)

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    1. LOL. Good point. Maybe you could write the book on how to cultivate that talent if you figure it out. :) I can write in chaos but not if it's my own family's chaos. Crowded restaurants are great except for the waiters interrupting all the time.

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  13. I'd love to do that exact thing as well. For some reason, I get distracted at home even when I'm alone.

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  14. That does sound idyllic!
    Good luck... I hope it happens for you... sooner rather than later...

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  15. You just posted every thought in my brain. I'm aiming for one of these in th coming months. Hope you get your break before I get mine. I will drink a toast to you when I get there as one writer to another.

    *~MAJK~*

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  16. Saw your comment about Warehouse 13 and I agree. I'm losing interest really fast. That's why it didn't make my list.

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  17. Sounds awesome to me. My writer's group is going on a retreat this weekend. They do that a lot, but I never go because it's weird being the only guy in a place full of women.

    Anyway, I'd love to do just what you outlined though. I can't imagine how much I'd love that.

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  18. Down on bed with a foot injury and bound to a wheelchair, my wish echoes the last line of your post! :)

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  19. A month ago, my husband gave me a 36 hour head start to the mountains for a solo writing retreat before he and the kids followed me up there. It was wonderful! If you have the chance, take it!

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