What exactly is a “writer’s retreat”? Does it have to be a remote cabin in the woods? Or is it simply unbroken privacy and relaxation?
Many writers tend to be hermits by nature, at least when we are pre-occupied with a project – just leave us be. In this case a writer’s retreat can be anywhere we can work without interruption or stress. Yes, this may sound very unfriendly to someone outside of the writing circle, but writers understand this (occasional to frequent) need for solitude.
The other members of my immediate household are involved in a sports activity and every so often they travel away for a weekend – some time back my son invited me to join them on their trip to make use of the mountain cabin they would be staying in along with another dozen people; “Bring a laptop mom and write all day while we are out…” It was tempting, but I declined.
I adore spending time with my family, however remaining in a cabin (not air conditioned by the way…) where I would feel obligated to help with the cooking and cleaning and seeing my family only in a crowd (geez, even sleeping would have been separate and dormitory style!) paled against the concept of undisturbed quiet amongst all the comforts of home. With only the cats to feed morning and night, I had no other schedules to concern myself with.
The phones were ignored (a special ring that only family cell phones made happen) – I slept when I wanted to, typed at my desk as I needed to, ate simple meals without a lot of preparation – and I took relaxing breaks to read, watch TV or take a local drive. It felt like I was on vacation! Best of all I got things done and felt so accomplished. And when they returned we were all rejuvenated by pursuing favorite activities. We had a wonderful reunion.
Albert Einstein said “I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”
There comes a time when a writer needs a brief respite from the day to day interruptions of everyday lives. Yes, we are stimulated by events around us, conversations, sights, sounds and even smells, but then we need time to just allow our minds to wander aimlessly, to ponder randomness. We do our best when we can retreat into our private little bubbles for a little while.
Are writers - am I - antisocial, eccentric, disturbed…? Or do we just crave a few moments in time to call our own?
Chelle Cordero is blessed to be a full-time writer and a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic. She has eight novels published with Vanilla Heart Publishing, short stories in three anthologies and numerous articles in various North American newspapers and magazines. Chelle also teaches an online writing course available through Kindle subscription.