Feed Your Creativity with a Writing Retreat
This time of year, it’s easy to crawl into our writing hole and disappear for a few months. We label that time with things like “introvert recovery” and “deadlines” and “playing catch up.” Maybe we’ll emerge, see our shadow, and run back into hiding. After all, it’s more comfortable to stay in our writing hole, warm and cozy with all our excuses.
Have you started to run out of steam?
Perhaps your story ideas turn stagnant. Your plot twists become predictable. Characters turn into paper dolls, two-dimensional and easily torn apart. The business of writing takes over the creating of story. The so-called writing muse has abandoned you.
But maybe it’s not the muse’s fault.
A creative thrives on discovery. It’s what drives us to write story. Piecing together the puzzle of words and plot and character—that detective work simply cannot exist in a vacuum. Why?
Because writers must have real-world experiences to draw from—exposure to other cultures, ideas different to their own belief systems, challenges to face and surmount. Without these key components of living, authors become stagnant. They suffer from the ailments listed above.
Are you starving your creativity?
Psychology has proven that a creative personality must have new experiences to fire synapses in the creative center of the brain. Science has shown that creativity thrives in a new environment. Even innovative thinkers and world-famous authors attribute their creative problem-solving and master storytelling to their travels around the world.
When’s the last time you left your writing hole? When did you last talk to someone new, someone who challenged your beliefs? When did you last listen to a foreign language and try to decipher the words through body language?
How long has it been since you fed your creativity?
Writers have many opportunities to feed and fatten up our creativity. Writing groups, people watching, being a tourist in our own city—these are all wonderful avenues to giving your creativity a bit of juice.
However, the most effective way I’ve found to lay out a feast for creativity is through writing retreats.
On a writing retreat, you get the five-course meal. Fresh experiences? Yes. Different environment? Most certainly. Exposure to new cultures? For sure. Discovery of new tastes and sights and sounds? You can’t avoid it!
Plus, you get the dessert course of meeting new people. Authors like you from around the world, gathering in one place with the same goal of furthering their writing career.
The muse can’t resist that feast. She shows up, time and again, on writing retreats. I’ve witnessed authors writing more words on our writing retreats than they have in a month. I’ve seen and experienced plot problems suddenly unwind themselves—all because of a walk in a new place with unfamiliar scents floating on the breeze.
For a writer, retreats are a necessity.
Writing retreats sound like a luxury item, right? Something special. A once-in-a-lifetime thing. A holiday or a getaway that is all too easy to convince ourselves we don’t deserve.
The problem with categorizing a writing retreat as a luxury is it makes it a want versus a need. Writing retreats aren’t a luxury. They are a necessity.
In no other situation do you get dedicated writing time with other focused-authors in a setting that breathes creative infusion.
Will you leave your writing hole?
I know it’s warm in there, but I promise out here—with the sun warming your shoulders and the waves lapping at your toes—out here, this is where story happens. This is where creativity lives.
Join us. Your writing tribe is waiting for you.
About Christina Delay
Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. When she’s not leading retreats, she’s dreaming up new destinations to take talented authors on or writing the stories of the imaginary people that live in her heart.
About Cruising Writers
Cruising Writers brings aspiring authors together with bestselling authors, an agent, an editor, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor together on writing retreats.
Join us in the beautiful Languedoc of Southern France this April and stay in a historic chateau with world-renown writing craft instructor Margie Lawson, NYC-based literary agent Louise Fury, Amazon bestselling author Shelley Adina, European Manager for Kobo Writing Life Camille Mofidi, and President of Literary Translations Athina Papa, and President of Entangled Publishing, Liz Pelletier.