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Do writing retreats work?

I’ve been pondering the positive aspects of living ‘away’ and focussing only on writing. Of course, the immediate thought is – “I’m simply not home.”

For different writers – ‘home’ and its complexities means different things. For me,  I’m away from my kitchen. We tend to entertain and having a crowd around the table is a frequent event. So, that requires getting the food, preparing the food and the inevitable clean-up. Because we live in the country, and a number of our friends live in Victoria or up-island, often we have over-night guests as well.

Then there is keeping on top of the house chores/gardening/raking the fields. And did I mention using the vacuum? With a long-haired Australian Shepherd, Chica and a long-haired cat, Sadie, we would be enveloped in a web of fur, if that aspect of housework wasn’t routinely attacked.

Naturally, for writers – a retreat where one can use all electronic devices is a gift. I could use Face-time and watch the new grandbaby in his high-chair and phone when I needed to connect with family and friends.

But the most important aspect was un-interrupted periods of time to concentrate on my current WIP – Hayden’s Gift. The longer I spent reading my work and visiting the strange land of ‘marketing’ , the clearer my path became. Goals began to emerge and I was able to capture these and put them on paper.

I’ve taken part in two retreats this year – and both were magical.

If you ever have the opportunity, in my experience so far,  they are worthwhile. A time to step outside of your regular life, a time to write deeply and reflect on what you’re trying to accomplish and a chance to learn from other authors.

Have you taken part in a writing or get-away retreat? Did it work for you?