Mini Writing Retreats

The hubster plays a lot of chess. Matches for his club and our County which often take him to exotic destinations such as Hastings! Lol. My overseas readers probably won’t get that joke so I apologise…just Google Hastings πŸ˜‰

I’ve been going through the calendar and it seems that on the following dates I will be home alone all day!

Saturday 12th January
Saturday 26th January
Saturday 2nd March
Saturday 24th March

I could just potter around, do a bit of housework, scrub the bath, catch up with some decluttering perhaps? Nah! Sod that! I’m going to have some Mini Writing Retreats πŸ™‚ Ok, when you think of a writing retreat you think about going away somewhere, but, there’s nothing to stop you having one at home πŸ™‚ As Judy Reeves says “Consider that a writing retreat is not necessarily a place, but a concept.” Good old Judy, I love her πŸ™‚

A mini retreat can just be a day out of your normal life, where you just do what you want to do (writing wise), without all the pressure of home and family stuff. Ok, yes, I know I’m lucky. My kids aren’t little, they don’t need my constant care and attention. So if you have little kids get their dad to take them out, for the whole day! πŸ˜‰

I did a couple last year and they’re great fun! Here’s what you do:

1. Gather together supplies. We’re talking chocolate, cake, Pringles, hot chocolate (these are just some of my faves by the way, but you’ve probably got your own). Alcohol is probably strumming it a bit, you don’t want to end up falling asleep at the keyboard πŸ˜‰

2. Plan in advance what you’re going to write. Personally I like to use prompts. Why? Because I use my mini retreat days almost like a day of practice. A chance to get away from the project I’ve been working on for the last 3 months, allowing my creative juices to flow and my muse to be inspired.

3. Wave bye to the kids/husband/wife, shut the door and turn off the phone and computer. As far as the world is concerned you’re on retreat so don’t use it as a day for surfing the web, catching up with blogs or FaceBooking. No no no. If you really were on retreat, with no internet access, no phone reception, people wouldn’t be able to get hold of you then would they? So don’t let them now. Remember, mentally you are un-contactable πŸ˜‰

4. Dress comfortably and start writing! And munching πŸ˜‰ Simples!

My final tip for a mini retreat is to get yourself a copy of this baby!

Inside is a selection of cards each listing 20 prompts on different themes πŸ™‚

Nooooo, don’t be silly, I’m not going to list some of them here, that wouldn’t be very fair on Judy now would it. But, if you really do fancy giving it a go, e mail me and I’ll help you out with some ideas….but I won’t reply today as I’m on retreat πŸ˜‰

And that’s it! πŸ™‚ I’m excited already! Poor hubby, he feels bad leaving me on my own all day on a weekend. I’ll cope I say with pouting lip as I push him out the door *sniggers* πŸ˜‰

Fancy joining me? Have you ever had mini retreats?

46 thoughts on “Mini Writing Retreats

  1. Vikki, this is the coolest idea! I’m gonna have to give it a try. Your snack list sounds pretty good, with a little coffee added, and I do believe I will include some vino in the afternoon, after I get so many words in. πŸ™‚


  2. What a fantastic idea, Vikki. When I saw the title of this post I thought you were ‘going away’ somewhere. But the ‘concept’ is actually better than just a ‘place’. Love it! πŸ˜€


  3. This is AMAZING! I hope you don’t mind but I had to reblog it πŸ™‚

    I love retreats and as my pathetic little wallet will not allow me to go away anywhere, I’m always looking for ways to bring the exotic or away-from-home feel to my apartment.

    I’m planning on painting my chalkboard next weekend buuuut I may get up the courage and energy this weekend so if I do paint it this weekend, it’ll be the perfect way to kick off my weekly writing retreats (seeing as I have no wife/husband/children and the dog LOVES and misses her writing cuddles). I have to say your treat list sounds great but I’ll be stocking my fridge with hummus, sliced carrots and cucumbers, tiny tomatoes, grapes, wedges of old cheddar cheese, crackers and my ultimate favourite brand of apple juice. Of course there’ll have to be some chocolate as well. Oh and Twizzlers. And perhaps some gummy worms.

    Happy writing!


  4. I’d like to retreat. No time for one at the moment with other obligations. Would’ve this weekend, but something else came up. I’ll have to seriously consider having one.


  5. This is a great idea. πŸ™‚ Good point – no need to go anywhere for a writing retreat. It is more of a state of mind. You can even travel to a quiet cafe or write near a pretty river in the warmer months to get away from the house if need be.


  6. I love this idea! I’ve been struggling for a while with ways to tempt hubby to go away for the day and leave me alone. I’m trying to rekindle his interest in fishing, as that seems ideal, but he won’t take the bait. Forgive the pun.


  7. Excellent idea.

    I too have a mini-writer’s retreat day today. Mrs W and the kids have gone shopping – giving me time to do final edits and load up a second book of short stories to amazon kindle πŸ™‚

    Was asked last night what I want for my birthday this year and all I could think of was ‘time’ ; )

    Hope you get loads of great writing done.


    • Thanks Keith πŸ™‚

      And as you know now from Twitter, I had a VERY productive day!

      Did you get done what you needed to yesterday?

      Ha ha ha, oh yes! I’m seriously considering buying a book on time management, how sad is that? πŸ˜‰



  8. I love this idea. Many times writers don’t have time and can’t afford actual writing retreats. Why not have one in your home!


    • Bel, i would go mad if I didn’t get “me” time every day. But, i remember when the kids were little, having all 3 at home, before they all started school…..awful 😦 Hubby would often take them out though so i could have a few hours to recharge.

      Virginia Woolf went on about a woman having a room of her own, perhaps she should have said “time” on their own πŸ˜‰



  9. Man, I could really use a retreat too! I’m so addicted to social media though that even one day without would be enough to put me in the looney bin. However, I have given up TV/Movies for 21 days and I am definitely getting a lot more writing done. Would probably be even further along if I gave it all up. Hmmmm…time to start planning. Thanks for the great post and enjoy your own retreat!


    • Ha ha ha, it was bloody hard, and ok, yes, I admit, I checked my phone once or twice, for really urgent e mails of course πŸ˜‰

      Good for you honey! I rarely watch TV anymore, gave up on all the Soaps….best thing I ever did!

      Awwwww, thank you πŸ™‚ Yes, I did, I was VERY productive!



  10. Pingback: Monday Must Do’s 14th to 20th Jan | The View Outside

  11. Strictly speaking, I have writing retreats every school day, for 6 hours, give or take. My retreats include M&M’s and coffee.

    In the latest The Writer magazine, I became envious of no longer living in the U.K. An article talked about Charlie’s Urban Writer’s Retreat – where you go for a day away from everything. She runs them in Shoreditch and Devon, you use the offices, meet up with other writers over lunch, and tea and coffee is supplied.


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