Half an hour before dawn, fifteen minutes on lunch break, the last hour before bed. That's a typical writing schedule for an author who's still got a full-time job and other life commitments. Thousands of successful books have been written this way, but imagine how much you could get done with long, uninterrupted hours dedicated to nothing but writing? A growing number of authors are finding just that at dedicated writing retreats. These mini-vacations are less intense than author conferences; their main purpose is writing, not socializing. You may or may not meet other authors here, but you'll spend almost all your time doing what you need to do: writing. You can find hundreds of dedicated writing retreat spots around the globe. Finding the right one will take research, but it will pay off in many finished pages.
Held on a private Texas ranch every May, this gathering includes writing workshops, one-on-one meetings with industry professionals and intensive writing periods. It's aimed at serious-minded authors who are committed to improving and finishing their books.
This ten day writing retreat offers a great balance of solitude and community. You'll enjoy an intense writer's workshop each morning, and adventures each afternoon. Enjoy optional cruises, massage, yoga and other relaxing experiences on the beautiful Greek island of Alonnisos.
Dedicated to authors who love to run, this retreat takes place in Northern California in June. You'll run a two-mile trail each morning, then attend a full schedule of workshops, writing time, critique groups and more. At the end of the retreat, you'll run a 10K race through the woods!
Your Own Retreat
If you're having a hard time finding the right retreat for your schedule, personality or budget, you can still reap the benefits by creating your own version. The best way is to choose just one or two other authors to split the costs and to spur each other on (nope, we're not goofing off this morning!), creating your own little author's mastermind group, but you can go solo just as easily.
Choose your dates carefully, as you want to stay away from any times of the year when tourists are gathering in your chosen area. You can find some great deals out of season, however. If your retreat isn't centered on tourism, it doesn't make any difference whether you're visiting New Hampshire in the winter or Texas in the summer. You'll be staying inside, anyway, and the lack of tourists will make your stay quieter. A week is ideal, as you can plan one or two excursions and still get a significant amount of work done, but a weekend without distractions can still produce an amazing amount of work.
The venue is totally up to you, but the quieter the better. Hotels have more amenities like room service and a lot of local restaurants for quick meals before getting back to work, but don't rule out renting an entire house through AirBnB, VRBO, or Homeaway. Bring enough supplies to feed yourself all week long, and you've got the ultimate quiet getaway. Take advantage of a retreat spot somewhere exotic, and you can combine a great vacation with a week of intense writing, the perfect author's environment! After all, you've got to come up for air sometime, and you might as well have some fun while you do, right?
Keep the Faith and May the Force be With You!