On Writer’s Retreats: Enforced Focus

This weekend my husband and I are travelling. There’s an event he’s attending Saturday morning, and because the location is 150 miles away, we’re making a weekend of it.

I won’t be taking my laptop, which in a way, is great because it forces me to brainstorm rather than focus on wordcount. It will give me space to draw sketches of my upcoming NaNo novel, and limits my time online surfing the net.

Sometimes, having limits allows us to really focus. If I cannot tidy my living room or wash up, then I can’t feel divided in spending my time on world-building. This leads me to have an enforced writing retreat, and I’ve got a nice little list compiled of projects.

  • Edit the first 3 chapters of Darkening Skies following feedback.
  • Draft out the ‘tentpoles’ of my NaNo17 novel.
  • Clarify the key setting of the novel [particularly later on in the story]
  • Continue alpha-reading a friend’s project
  • Meditate [this is not optional!]

On top of the ‘official to-do list,’ a retreat is also about getting space to experience life. We’ll be eating out, drinking wine over a meal and walking through the local grounds of the city.

What conditions would bring about your perfect (or even half-decent) writer’s retreat?

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