How do you RETREAT? Any way is the “write way”, as long as you find some inspiration.
Recently I spent some time in Los Angeles, CA. It was a pleasure trip, rather than a business trip, because my daughter wanted to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Universal Studios, and play at the beach, of course. Oh, and we went to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, which is creepy and cool all at the same time. I will admit that I don’t think I’d want to be locked up in that place alone at night- did you ever see the mannequin episode from The Twilight Zone? (If the statue of Hugh Jackman came alive, though, I’d probably be okay with that.)
Anyhow… when I go on a vacation for fun, I tend to get really motivated and reinvigorated for my writing projects, even if I have not specifically planned the trip to be a true “writing retreat”. Something about getting away from the daily routine and familiar surroundings jump-starts my creativity.
Back at the hotel room each night, I would write about our daily adventures in my personal journal. That inspired ideas for current writing projects: character profiles, places, sounds, scents, skies- lots of things- that I quickly wrote down as well.
I realized that the same thing happened while we were in New York prior to that. New York is like a river of vibrant life and I absolutely love it. You can’t help but be stimulated in the heart of New York City.
On the other hand, there’s the serenity of a quiet spot in a less populated area: a countryside with rolling hills, a picturesque mountain town with a gentle blue lake, a silent, private beach with gentle waves cresting nearby.
Ah… just thinking about that makes me peaceful. Quiet surroundings can stimulate our creativity too. Letting the mind focus, free from distraction and resting the body as well, gives us clarity and vision, helping to fine-tune our work and piece together our words productively.
We likely assume that the quiet of nature is the best place to take our writer’s retreats. Really, it can be anywhere. Your writer mind is part of you, so it can be stimulated anywhere. If you are in a big city, a suburb, or in the middle of nowhere, you can turn on your writing switch. It’s all a matter of tuning into your right brain- that creative, wonderfully imaginative and free flowing side- and let your muse be your guide, no matter where you are.
And maybe, if you don’t have the opportunity to travel, that’s an even better reason to be able to retreat anywhere. Your local coffee shop, a bench in the neighborhood park, or your own backyard can be equally inspiring.
A change of pace and change of atmosphere can give you all sorts of new ideas, increase vigor and give personal power to your writing projects.
What about you? Do you prefer a busy city for creative bursts of energy? Are you instead inspired by a quiet countryside retreat? Do you take advantage of places like coffee shops or other neighborhood venues for a change of pace? Do you find that your planned holidays and vacations inspire your projects?
If you only write from your desk at home, that’s okay too. But I challenge you to give this mini-retreat idea a shot, even if you only go just down the street. You may find that it powers up your mind and your writing. Let me know what you come up with.
Remember, The ‘Write’ Retreat is anywhere you want it to be.