I Said I Would Never Do This Again
This summer, I am so excited to bring back something I promised I would never offer again… in-person writing retreats! After struggling through Hurricane María and COVID, it is finally time to get a group together face to face and create a magical writing moment.
In this episode, I share what makes writing retreats so unique. I also outline the details for the upcoming Spacious Writing Retreat in San Juan. Can’t make it this summer? No problem! Throughout this episode, I offer tips and tricks to create the perfect writing retreat wherever you spend your summer.
What is Special About Writing Retreats?
A magical or memorable thing happens on an in-person retreat or whenever you carve space for your writing practice. I am ready to see people in person again. But, more than that, I am ready to share that magical thing that happens when we are physically together in a space where we all have had to make some kind of sacrifice to get there. Whether it was a financial sacrifice, a time sacrifice, or the number of things we had to get in order at home with our families, we all had to carve out the time to participate. Magic happens when everybody comes to an event with that same kind of energy.
I used a writing retreat to kick off my first book progress, and it made all the difference in my focus, passion, and vision. I can’t wait for the Spacious Writing Retreat to have that same effect on everyone who joins us.
The Spacious Writing Retreat
We’re calling the retreat ‘Spacious’ because we wanted that to be the guiding principle of this writing retreat. So when Gina and I were brainstorming our plan, we considered the following:
- How do we want people to feel?
- What is the venue of the retreat like?
- How can we translate all of it into a cohesive experience for people?
The feeling of this writing retreat will be one of spaciousness and one of my private time. We will be alternating an ebb and flow between gathering and alone time. There’s going to be a lot of autonomy on this retreat. For example, each guest has their own room. We also cut back on the number of scheduled meal times so that each person creates an experience that works best for their goals.
Create Your Own Writing Retreat
You can create a writing retreat anywhere! So if the Spacious Writing Retreat isn’t in the cards for you this summer, build your own oasis instead. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on your private writing retreat.
- Decide on a “vibe” for your retreat. Like how Gina and I were inspired by the word ‘spacious,’ pick a word that embodies your dream experience.
- If you want a change of scenery but can’t take a plane ride, book an Airbnb close to home. Writing in a new place, outside of your everyday routine, will do wonders for your creative process.
- Create a schedule for several days or a week that mimics a retreat. For example, you can plan out meals and writing times. But make sure you include a period of reflection, relaxation, or fun.
- Give yourself a goal for your retreat. Go into the experience with a target that will guide your writing.
“I want you to be able to transfer or make the leap from what I’m talking about specifically to how you might be able to create a retreat experience if you can’t join us August 4-9. I’m actually going to break down what I think is special about writing retreats, and how to create an experience that you want and you can do for yourself if you can’t come on our retreat.”
“I have very vivid memories of retreats because you were getting out of your normal routine. You had to make things happen in order for you to get there and then you have the glorious feeling of dedicating this time and space to your thinking and reading and writing and that is something that you really remember. It blows over into your practice your writing practice for the rest of the year”
After promising never to do one again, Cathy has created another summer writing retreat in San Juan, Puerto Rico! Join us August 4th-9th for our Spacious Writing Retreat. We are accepting reservations now. To learn more and save your spot click here.
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION:
- Look back on a previous podcast episode with Michelle Boyd. Michelle and Cathy discuss why writing retreats are so impactful to your writing practice. Listen here.
- We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and start your application process here.
- Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
- Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.
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