A Writer’s Retreat
A writer’s retreat can be anywhere. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are, of course, some wonderful places specifically designed as writers’ retreats. Many of my writer friends long for a retreat with Arvon, where they know that they will get inspiration from other writers.
I have just been on a writer’s retreat alone, in Woolacombe at the beautiful, quiet cottage of friends of ours. What I love is that I can be as untidy as I like and spread out my papers. Meals don’t have to suit anyone else so I always make them simple.
Some days I drive to the beach and watch the power of the sea – Woolacombe is a wonderful surfing beach. When I go to the beach it tends to be in the early evening. The sun is setting over the sea, the surfers are riding the surf, and the birds are preparing to fly away. The beach is quiet at that time of day, and I get to speak briefly to the dog-walkers. Other days I walk around the fields by the cottage and wonder at the diversity of flowers, trees and grasses.
A Time of Reflection
It is both a time of reflection, and a time of activity, which suits me perfectly, being a reflector/activist. In order to get the best out of the retreat I make a programme for each day. I don’t write it in advance because our weather is so unreliable. This time I’ve been very fortunate and the sun shone each day when I wanted to go out. Even the rain wouldn’t necessarily stop me from taking a walk. The rain is beautiful too when I have time to appreciate it.
As I look out of the window right now I can watch birds flying across the window, playful ducks in the pond and trees swaying with the wind, and I feel content. As I go for walks and take in the intricate beauty of creation, I realise just how small the things that are worrying me are. Being in the countryside connects me back to nature and relaxes me.
At the end of the retreat my focus returns and I am enthusiastic again. Because I have time, I organise my projects while I am away, and I feel confident that I will soon finish those that have been stuck on the back burner. At home I never seem to take time to organise my work because I of the continual distractions of everyday life. Taking a retreat gives me the solitude and focus I require to get back on track.
A retreat is such an incredibly relaxing and profitable experience that I intend taking one more often. I owe it to my creativity.