Thursday, April 9, 2015

Writers' Retreat or Just a Break?

This past week my husband and I have been visiting our daughter and her best friend. Our daughter is the Program Director at Lutheran Lakeside Camp in Spirit Lake, Iowa and she lives onsite.

Onsite is 135 acres of beautiful waterfront and wooded property. There are deer galore and they are not afraid of people! Each evening we saw upwards of seven to eight yearlings and does. Also, turkeys are a common sight and Loons and birds of all varieties and squirrels and chipmunks and on and on. There are cabins, retreat houses, a lodge, a dining hall, and recreation buildings and activities all over the camp. It is a magnificent place!

While there, I though about writers' retreats. My daughter and I have discussed possible writers' retreats as a program she may offer in the future. The camp is completing the construction of two retreat houses that offer single and multi-occupancy rooms with lake views.

There is no typical definition of a writers' retreat. It is a gift a writer gives to herself - time and space to focus on writing and connect with her vision. Some are done in solitude, some are done with another writer to perhaps keep each other accountable, while others are done at places that writers can gather and connect. Writing demands solitude and focus, but it may need a boost of inspiration at times, thus the writers' retreat.

I pondered this quite a bit as I woke in the wee morning hours and took a solitary walk around camp. I heard the woodpecker and other exhilarating nature sounds. I saw God's creative hands all over the trees and brooks. It was inspiring and I thought about writing, but I didn't rush back to my laptop. Instead, I kept walking, listening, viewing and finally wondering if I had the discipline to go on a writers' retreat and accomplish the goal of writing there.

I am a disciplined writer. If I have a deadline or set a goal, I will undoubtedly accomplish it and many times early. Though I must confess, some times I do procrastinate and finish just in the nick of time.

I make a plan, sit down in the quiet solitude of my office, put my fingers to the keys, and let the words flow with strength and consistency like a mighty stream in the stillness of the woods. I don't stop there either, I draft, edit, collaborate, look up words in the dictionary and thesaurus, and redraft until my piece reaches near perfection. I work hard and I am disciplined.

Do I need a retreat to write . . . perhaps not. Do I want a retreat, maybe just to reboot, refresh, and think about writing . . . a resounding YES!

Let me hear from you!
Do you need or want a writers' retreat?

No comments:

Post a Comment