So just returned from my first ever “Writer’s Retreat”, organized by the ottawaindependentwriters.com. What is a writer’s retreat? I didn’t know, but assumed it was a quiet place away from home where a writer could write. Well, yes, it was.
First, it was away from home. In quaint little Westport, Ontario, nestled on a lake between Kingston and Ottawa. There were about 15 of us staying at the welcoming West Cove Inn, a short block from the lake. This was my view in the morning with a 2 minute walk.
But I’d have little time to enjoy any view, or any of the touristy sites of this historic town. I’d be writing – it was a writer’s weekend retreat, after all!
The facilitator (SteveHeighton.com), an award winning author whose books I have yet the pleasure to discover, had a full and impressive itinerary for us. Sandwiched between the Cove Inn’s meals (included in the weekend price), I partook in the perfect blend of presentation and workshop (the writing part). Then review of each of our said workshop pieces (our homework 😉 It was exhilarating to discover that, under 20-minute deadlines that included a washroom break and getting coffee, I absolutely was capable of producing a piece of directed writing! The nerves to read it back in class forced me to ask to always read first, otherwise the heartrate increase with anticipation awaiting my turn would kill me. (Maybe not kill me, but I wouldn’t have paid attention to the other readings if I’d had to wait.) The rest of the group was kind enough to accommodate, and I thank them although I’m sure at least one of them would have delivered CPR to revive me should it have been required.
More readings on Saturday night, then another full day on Sunday; all this to say – yes, it was a worthwhile weekend. Yes, a writer’s retreat includes much writing. As much as you can. You will be motivated; the writing and listening to others’ writings was inspiring. Despite the daily mental exhaustion, I couldn’t sleep much with stimulating brain waves organizing the day’s lessons. So off I go to it, my next writing projects!
Please check out my first book, Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story.