By Morgan Tarpley
This writer just returned on Sunday from a mini writer’s retreat that my critique partner and I set up months ago. We usually attend a writer’s conference around this time every year but sadly it has been cancelled this year, so we decided to create our own writer’s retreat weekend instead. And it was great!
The first step was finding the perfect place: not too far from home and within driving distance, secluded to not tempt us with all the shopping options and other nearby attractions, well-furnished kitchen for our meals at the location, and lastly an inspiring location.
About eight years ago I worked part-time as a travel agent and that job is how I met my critique partner, Carole. She was a veteran travel agent there, and we both hit it off immediately with our love for travel, books and writing – among many other interests as well. But, anyway back to the story at hand, it was when I worked at the travel agency that I found the spot that would house us over the weekend for our first writer’s retreat. And this is it! Willowbrook Cottage!
One of the shared interests Carole and I possess is a love for all things British, so when we thought of where to hold the retreat I knew exactly where to suggest – the perfect little English-style cottage within a four hour drive from her house. We live in north Louisiana, and the cottage is tucked away in a small town surrounded by mountains called Mena. It’s in the state of Arkansas.
|My Writing Spot|
|Healthy Writers Breakfast!|
Our day began around 8 a.m. after breakfast, prayer and a devotional and we started our first writing session at 9 a.m. Then, we worked for two hours, then took a 15-minute break, then continued on throughout the day with the sessions and breaks with an hour break for lunch and dinner.
We knew to be most productive we needed to keep to the schedules, but we did take little breaks whenever we needed them and we had mini brainstorming sessions in between to help each other when we were stuck on a scene, etc.
|View from the restaurant|
So, have you attended a writer’s retreat whether an officially organized one or just with a friend or two like we did? What did you enjoy most about it? Do you have any tips to share? If you could have a writing retreat anywhere, where do you think your ideal location would be?
Morgan Tarpley is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also an inspirational novelist seeking representation. Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her interests include acting in her local theater, genealogy, photography, and singing. She resides in Louisiana with her husband.
For more information about Morgan, visit her website (www.morgantarpley.com). You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.