Writers’ Retreats

I’ve only been to one writers’ retreat. One that worked, that is.
In the early 2000s eight or nine of us got together and rented Edenvale Retreat house (http://www.edenvaleretreat.ca) in Abbotsford. We didn’t have a great speaker or famous writer, just ourselves.
We started on Friday night and finished on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes we got together and talked. Each of us took responsibility for presenting some material and then we talked about it. Other times we wrote and other times we took a walk or whatever we wanted. At night we drank wine, stayed up late, talked and laughed.

I ran into one of the women the other night. She said it was the greatest thing in her life. We all became better writers – well maybe not all. A few decided that weekend that writing wasn’t for them, but I’m sure they became better human beings after the weekend. One woman decided that weekend to pursue a film-producing career. She’s very successful today.

The weekend confirmed me in my desire to write. The centre tries to keep a close tie to nature and I felt part of the universe that weekend. My job was to be the best writer and teacher that I could be.

The group that runs the retreat house serves great meals and stays out of the way. You begin to wonder about them. They can’t be doing this for money. You almost have to be beg them to explain what they’re about. In fact, I thought I would include a little information about them in this blog. But it’s not on their website. They have a purpose and a goal, but you won’t find them passing out information at the airport.

Think about a weekend retreat with your writing group or with some writing friends. You don’t need experts – just yourselves.

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6 responses to “Writers’ Retreats

  1. It was wonderfully inspirational because of the people and the setting. Imagine! 3 days to focus on nothing but writing. No calls, emails, family obligations, work deadlines or meals to prepare. Remember those hard tack pretzels?

  2. I’ve heard and read about such retreats. The reviews were mixed. Some felt woefully discouraged after the retreat; some felt invigorated. I don’t know about me. I’m not a group person. But it’s something to consider…

  3. Recently, I was lucky to enough to spend an entire week at the Bethlehem Retreat Centre (Nanaimo). The five of us are accustomed to working together, as we are a writers’ group. All of us got heaps done on our projects. For more detail, see my blog post for September 19, 2011.

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