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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Stuck with your writing? Try this.......


One of the most wonderful ways to kick start your brain is to go on a writing retreat. It doesn't have to be something mega-organised. In my case it's just 3 or 4 friends. We choose somewhere low cost, preferably in the country but with access to civilisation (a Costa and a little high street are enough) and we all go and stay for 1 night to a week. Importantly where we go has no telly and no wifi access. Painful but useful.

It also gets you right away from home life which although lovely simply eats into writing time. It also means you set your own clock and your own agenda. I am an unreasonably early bird, my best any time from 5am onwards. When on retreat, I can simply roll out of bed and onto my writing chair, fire up the laptop and I'm away. At 11am I might feel like some company. If I then see one of my writing friends sitting outside nonchalantly on the bench in the little garden opposite the bedrooms where we stay, I can take my coffee out and have a natter. The afternoon's a bit of a dead time for me writing-wise as I always experience a dip. That's when I will stroll out into the country for some excercise (to counterract writers' bottom which is a horrible complaint leading to lardiness and pins and needles in the buttocks). Or I tottle off to the shops to have a quick float around and to buy something inappropriate for a lady of my years such as blue nail varnish. Then back for some more writing before dinner. We tend either to nominate one of us as cook for that night or to go out to the local pub. It's amazing how much you can achieve when in such a cocoon, ideas flow, words pour out and things get FINISHED. I'd recommend it to anyone. But the best thing is if you go with writing friends they will not only understand your dilemmas, rejoice in your triumphs but also they'll be happy to talk to you about that niggling plot twist or that elusive character slant. Now my family are lovely but quite frankly all that stuff bores the pants off them.......

6 comments:

margaret blake said...

That sounds a perfect retreat.

Chris Stovell said...

That's a really good idea. I'm trying to go on a bit of writing retreat this week by limiting online activities... when I've had a browse first of course!

Cara Cooper said...

Thanks for the comments Margaret and Chris. You're right, the internet can suck time so easily, I really have to resist it first thing in the morning which is my best writing time.

William and Anna Patterson said...

Hey, I just went over to our blog, SweetPea's Chatter House and found your message. I left a message for you about the medical, which is they gave me advice and told me to try again. We are on Facebook. Join us there.
Anna Patterson

rama said...

Yes Cara, nothing like taking a short break from the usual routine life, and come back totally relaxed and with our heads brimming with ideas. I am also back, from the US trip and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.
Have a great week ahead, Bye.

Sarah Callejo said...

Oooh, that sounds so good. I'd love a writers' retreat. And yours sounded fantastic.