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Retreating to Write

This Week’s Writing Prompt

Sometimes the best way to write is to get away from it all. Even though I have been successful at maintaining my writing routine for many weeks now, I decided it was time for a change of pace and scenery.

In anticipation of the Sandhill Writers Retreat at Saint Leo University near Tampa last weekend, I drove there a day early and dedicated the extra time to write. I set up shop at a nearby Hampton Inn and enjoyed a beautiful view of an adjacent cattle ranch, rolling green hills, and grazing animals, just what my creativity needed to breathe deep and exhale the prose of my life. Yes, perfect serenity.

The words flowed, and the next day, I learned even more about writing well at the conference. I came back home not only with a sense of accomplishment for all I’d written but also a sense of renewal and refreshment. This weekend retreat was good for my soul.

What about you? Have you ever gotten away from daily life for a spell?

  • What was the purpose?
  • Where did you go?
  • What did you do?
  • What was it like?
  • Did you learn something new about yourself?

Share the results of your retreat and how you felt when you returned home.

If you haven’t gone on such a retreat but wish you could, write about that, using the previous questions as prompts.

All posts in response to our writing prompts in May will be entered into our drawing to win a free online coaching video—that’s a $20 value!  Go for it!

1 Comment

  • Post Author
    Posted May 30, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    The Perfect Weekend Retreat by Phyllis Sommerman

    In 2005 I once journaled – ‘people tell me I should write a book’. It’s been 14 years and finally I am writing, with joy and purpose. But humans have mastered the art of messing up a would be good and peaceful day. I need the perfect weekend retreat to do nothing but write. Before the end of summer has seen the first colorful leaves falling on my country road, I will find that place.

    With a new writer’s zeal, I have discovered the purpose that writes my words – to understand myself, know me like God knows me, and help me and others find our own road leading home. I need to let that river of passion flow freely, for hours at a time, but …

    Where would I go? My summer home is a farm, at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, near a large reservoir surrounded by trees, with song birds filling the airways. I have hiked the mountains there, and found moments of amazing peace and focus on the topmost platform of an old fire ranger’s lookout. It surprised me how I could feel that peace when the climb up had nearly scared me to death. But that’s what I want – the ‘in touch with nature’ place.

    But logistics tell me I would need a writing surface, power for my laptop, water, and a camera to capture my awe, that which is inspiring me. After a few hours, I may need nutrition. I have a folder labeled “writing helps” that has become a tool for focus, as well as a small spiral notebook for my purse, so that goes with me. If I don’t write down what my mind has just created, I will lose it somewhere in space.

    My perfect writing retreat would be the best office space imaginable, but out in nature. And now it gets complicated. I’m thinking I should have my stack of old

    journals with me for reference, but they can be an obstruction to fresh creative thoughts. What about wifi – for referencing dates, facts? And of course I will need a Thesaurus, even though this setting would feed those perfect words to me. I will not need an iPhone for any reason at all, except maybe a call for help if a rattlesnake bites me. [See Phyllis. See how she makes life complicated].

    I have discovered there’s an untapped person in Phyllis. Surely the opportunity afforded in a weekend retreat would magnify my story.

    I have always felt the need to pull people together – family reunions, high school class reunions, groups of friends – while at the same time feeling like I didn’t belong – even to these very groups. Feelings of inferiority and insecurity have kept Phyllis in a box, a gift from God not yet opened. A friend, recently a guest in my farmhouse, questioned why I always use placemats when we dine (she never did). She discerned that I use them because that makes each person know they have a place; it centers them with a feeling of belonging. And I always thought I used placemats because they’re easy to sew and I have a good time selecting the fabric. We have many placemats in my two homes; there must always be many, because I have many, many people who belong at my table. I know that now. I belong. And I’m a writer! I must look for that perfect writer’s retreat.

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