Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do You Take Writing Retreats?

I wrote significant chunks of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction and Why Study History: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past at a lake house in northern New Hampshire located a few miles from the Canadian border.  I also wrote a few chapters of Why Study History in a nice Gettysburg hotel that I scored for under $50.00 a night through an online travel website. It was a very cold January week and I may have been one of five or ten people in the entire hotel.

Over at Religion News Service, Jana Riess writes about taking a writing retreat to Cape Cod.  Here is a taste:

I’ve been on writing retreats at monasteries and other religious communities, and that’s wonderful for my spirit, but I’ve also done successful writing retreats just by checking myself in to a cheap hotel for a couple of days.

Once a few years ago, a deadline was looming that I could not postpone, but I couldn’t seem to make concentrated time to work on it. Family, work, household, church, students....There were so many other priorities. I was getting pretty stressed out. So with my husband’s blessing, I used hotel points to check myself in to an inn not ten miles from my house for a weekend. I brought with me only that one project — no other writing and certainly no outside distractions (though my family did come meet me there for dinner on Saturday night). It was a very successful retreat and I came away astonished by how much writing I could accomplish when I set boundaries for everything else.

Do you take writing retreats?  If so, where do you go and what kind of accommodations work best for you?