How To Create Your Own Personal Writing Retreat

Dec 30



Would you like to finally spend time on your writing this year?

Have you ever thought about packing a suitcase and a laptop and going away to a writer’s retreat? Probably not. Who has time and money to walk away from your home, kids, job, dog, guinea pigs, etc.?

Big blank wooden arrow directional sign isolated on white.

So how does a busy person get the time to work on that novel, blog, journal or how-to manual?


You have to make the time to work on your writing, and it’s easier than you think.


It’s Downright Revolutionary


It has never been easier to get your own writing published. You don’t need an agent or a book contract or even a single rejection letter to become a published author.


The hard part is making time to get the writing done.


All you need is structure and a plan to get it all done. What better time than the new year to accomplish this goal.


Your Creative Spirit


You have the urge to create something. An idea (or fifteen) have been rolling around in your head for quite a while. We’re going to use your imagination and some structure to get you started, and help you to keep writing until you have finally accomplished your writing goals.


Step One

Imagine your ultimate writing retreat.

Start visualizing your imaginary writing retreat. Make some notes about your ideal hideaway spot. You could make a vision board with magazine pictures of a cozy cabin in the snow, or a beachfront cottage.


Pinterest is a great way to browse pictures of scenery that inspires you.


Speaking of Pinterest, we all love a good inspirational quotation. But do yourself a big favor–don’t kid yourself. Browsing for the perfectly instagramed quotation from a great writer does not get your novel written.


Warning: Do not get obsessed with this part. It’s fun, and the mindframe is important, but you can’t get caught up in perfection. Visualizing the writing spot is not writing. It’s like lacing up your running shoes and stretching. You’re not going to burn any calories or get ready for a marathon by choosing the cutest running shorts  available.


However, if hot chocolate or a glass of cold lemonade helps you set the stage for your personal writing retreat, so be it.


Step Two

Create boundaries.

You might live alone or you might live with a house full of distractors who want you to feed them, walk them or want you to play pirates and princesses with them.


Your writing time might have to be broken into small segments of time, during naptime, after kids are in bed, or while they’re watching a loooong movie that you just put in for them.


Even if you don’t have others tugging at you for attention 24/7, you might be your own worst  enemy. Are you find it too hard to concentrate on one thing long enough to make progress? You’ll want to close out as many distractions as possible, including Facebook, email and maybe even turn off your cell phone for a little while so you can really focus on your writing.

Step Three

Capture your ideas.

During your designated writing time, you can start brainstorming. Just write down your ideas, your rough chapter outline, titles for your next thirty blog posts.  Don’t rely on your memory–be sure to capture your good ideas. Even the lame ideas are worth writing down because they can inspire an even better solution.


Step Four

Start writing.

It’s time to create. No one has to see it, so you don’t have to hold back. Don’t edit while you’re writing. Did you know that writing and editing use different hemispheres of the brain? If you keep going back and forth between writing and revising, you’ll just slow yourself down and inhibit your creativity.


Step Five


Imagine how much you could get done if you allowed yourself time to write at least a few times a week. Where would you be in a couple of months? What would it feel like to have your book completely finished? How would it feel to know that you could become a published author this year?


Once your book is written, the publishing part is easy. (If you don’t know how, I can help you.) All you need is proper formatting of the document, and then you can publish your ebook for free on Kindle.


The number of ebook readers is growing, but people don’t need a Kindle to read your published work.


There are options for print on demand, which means that self-published authors can produce a real printed book instead of (or along with) an ebook. The book gets printed only when someone orders it. It’s not like the old days when self-published authors had to order hundreds of their own books, and were tripping over boxes of their masterpieces in their own garages for decades.


Why now?

Because we’re experiencing a writing revolution. It’s the best time in history to be a writer. Your work could entertain and enlighten the world. There are no guarantees of success, but at least the playing field is level. There are no barriers to getting your work out into the public eye.


So if you’ve got an idea, an outline, or a draft of something you’d like to make progress on, create your own writing retreat. You can put up signs in your house when it’s writing time, or you can keep your plan as your little secret. The point is to get yourself quickly into the mental place that will allow you to stop procrastinating and start creating.

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