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Preparing For My Writing Retreat
five things I'm doing differently
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The last two years I’ve done a late summer writing retreat while dog sitting for my friend in her lovely home. This year I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at how I’m preparing for my week. Here are five things I’m doing differently this year.
Being realistic about how much I can do or want to do
The first time I had my weeklong writing retreat, I brought a stack of books to read and a list of projects to move forward. Guess what? I didn’t get through even a quarter of it! This year, I’m intentionally scaling down my expectations for my output and input.
Factoring in rest and play
This writing retreat is also a vacation for me. I’ve scheduled in a massage and visits with friends, and I also want to take time to practice yoga, go for solo walks, read novels or watch movies, and take baths. I know that I’ll want full days where I don’t have any plans, so I’m being careful not to overbook myself.
Setting up boundaries around availability
To ensure that I leave myself spaciousness in my schedule, I blocked off my online scheduler. I won’t be taking any coaching calls or discovery calls that week and I’m going to limit checking and responding to emails so I can focus on writing, hanging with the dog, and rest.
Setting actionable and achievable goals
I imagine I’ll be writing around three to four hours a day, so I want to be very clear about what I want to accomplish during that time. Leading up to my writing week, I’ll do a brain dump, isolate a project or two to work on, and draft up a menu of tasks I can choose to work on during my writing sessions.
Allowing for inspiration
I’m going to be staying in a town I really like, so I want to allow myself spaciousness to go for hikes, walk to get a smoothie, and spend time sitting outside playing with the dog. I might take a whole day just to read other people’s Substack letters and feel inspired. I might listen to classical music and go for a long drive to my favorite cafe and eat lunch outside by the river.
What about you?
If you had a few days to work on your writing, what would you do to prepare? If you’ve done a writing retreat before, what would you different this time around?
This section of my letters is for things that made me say “hmmm” or “wow!” recently.
After following her work online for years, I finally read Nicole J. Georges’s graphic novel Calling Dr. Laura and it was tender, intense, and relatable. I finished it in an evening, but I kept pausing to take in the details woven into the painting and format of each page. I can only imagine how long Georges spent on it, and her attention and care shines through. She has another book coming out soon that I can’t wait to read!
I’ve been making this Greek-Spiced Shrimp Bake at least once a month for the last 13 years and it’s simple and delicious, so I thought I’d share. We eat it over rice with a heavy sprinkling of freshly chopped dill on top.
For Your Consideration
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