My Mini ‘Writer’s Retreat’

Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower

I’ve got some ‘me time’ at the moment as my other half is away playing golf, so I’m trying to turn this week into a bit of a ‘writer’s retreat’. (Stop laughing at the back).

And no, it’s not taking place at Broadway Tower – more of that later – but in My House!

The plan is, to go to bed early and get up early (check – was in bed at 10pm last night and got up when the alarm went off this morning at 6.30am. Ouch!).

Actually ‘got up’ is not quite true. I went downstairs, (*puzzled looks from dog*), made a cup of tea and took it back to bed, where I sat for 25 minutes, doing my Morning Pages. Oh yes, going back to bed is allowed on this writer’s retreat of mine. (I also spent 30 minutes reading ‘The Goldfinch’ which was probably a bit naughty but I couldn’t resist it. It’s so good).

Other aspects of my Writer’s Retreat = no alcohol or tele’. I think I will find that quite easy, to be honest. But we’ll see….
I suppose I should really have also banned T’Internet but that’s not possible! Plus, go swimming and, of course, try to write. Lots.

When well-meaning friends and family found out that I was going to be ‘toute seule’, (some of them) wanted to come and see me, they offered to stay over, or come out with me. It’s been difficult to fend them off. Politely. I worry that they’ll think I’m weird or rude if I say,“Erm, actually, I’m fine. And I’d like to use the time to get some writing done…?”

It’s a fine balance, I think, between being alone and enjoying your own company and being lonely, which is horrible. And actually, I’m alright, on my own. I wouldn’t want to do it for ever but for a few days, it’s OK, isn’t it?

Apparently, according to this article, if you’re comfortable being alone and don’t always hanker after company then you’re ‘smarter’ and ‘more evolved’ than many other people. So there.

Of course, I can’t just stay in, doing nothing but writing over the next few days. I have stuff to do – eg: a work meeting tomorrow – and I have Bonnie the dog to look after.

This morning we did a LONG walk up a big hill, from Broadway, which is a small town (village?) near to me, up to the tower at the top of the hill, which is the ‘second highest point in the Cotswolds’! (I told that interesting fact to someone once, in good faith and he found it hilarious…!)

The view from the top (second highest point in the Cotswolds!)

The view from the top (second highest point in the Cotswolds!)

I have friends coming to do this walk with me later in the week (I know, that’s a break from the ‘retreat’!) so I wanted to do a bit of a ‘recce’, so I knew where the car park was and roughly how long it will take to get from Broadway town up to the top of the hill (it’s only about an hour – if you don’t stop – but it is a pretty steep hill!). I also wanted to check how many of the 8 or so fields had sheep and lambs in them, as this obviously restricts how much the dogs can run around off the lead.

Lots of these on the hills today

Lots of these on the hills today

I would like to claim this 2 hour walk as an ‘Artist’s Date’ but I really can’t because, even though I wasn’t with another human, I was with the dog and I don’t think it counts! Also, I’ve been there before although I’ve never done the walk on my own. It was really busy, because it was a lovely day (after yesterday’s SNOW and HAIL!) and we met lots of other people and dogs (Minnie the Cockapoo, for example and Watson the working cocker spaniel who fell in love with Bonnie – sadly, she didn’t reciprocate his enthusiasm. She can be very cool like that with ‘boys’). People definitely talk to you more if you’re on your own.

And now we are back. The washing’s done and on the line. I’ve had lunch. I’ve done this blog post.

There is no other excuse. I have to put my bum on the seat. And start writing…

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This entry was posted in Artist's Dates, Blogging, Bonnie, Cotswolds, Finding Time To Write. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to My Mini ‘Writer’s Retreat’

  1. Suzanne Goldring says:

    Just done a writer’s retreat in Cornwall with friends – getting away from the normal routine is very productive and inspiring. Good luck with your week!

    • Thanks for your comment, Suzanne. Of course, ideally I’d go on a ‘real’ writer’s retreat! But this is (hopefully) the next best thing! (erm, I am, of course, just having a quick 5 minute break at the moment…)

      • worldsrooom says:

        I am looking forward to spending this weekend in writing retreat in Nottingham at the Writers’ Studio. It will be an interesting experiment to spend some time with other people doing some intensive writing over two days and will mean that I have only myself to blame if I don’t get some work done. “A thousand mile journey begins with the first step…..” and all that! It has the advantage of being close to home and cheap, since I am on a pension and time rich and money poor. It can be inspiring to go further afield but at least I will meet a few more folk who feel the urge to write and hopefully learn something about other approaches to creating stories. The leader of the course writes Science Fiction, which is a genre that has interested me since boyhood, although I did not find out about some of the classic authors until somewhat later.
        Nottingham is being feted as a centre of culture and there are some interesting events coming up. Anybody who live in the Midlands area may care to have a look at the websites for this area and possibly join in.

      • Ooh, I’m envious of your writing retreat. I’ve never been on a proper retreat and I’d love to try it. Maybe a goal for next year..?! Have fun and I hope you get all the writing done that you’re hoping for.

      • worldsrooom says:

        Thanks for the encouragement. Watch this space for how I get on!

      • Yes, let us know! And let us have your tips for making the most of a writing retreat!

  2. Patsy says:

    I do understand about the difference between being alone and being lonely. They’re very different things.

  3. I quite enjoy my own company but like to get out of the house every day, even if it’s just for a coffee where I can be nosy and listen into conversations! We don’t have a dog so I have to push myself to go for a walk – weather permitting of course.

    • worldsrooom says:

      I agree about the importance of getting out of the house on a regular basis especially if you live alone as I do. I find that attending adult education classes is a good incentive to get out and about, particularly during the Winter months when there is a need for a definite reason to get organised to go out.
      I am also fortunate in having s stretch of river bank within a short walk from my home and the bus pass encourages me to go further afield even if the weather does not invite me to do so.

  4. Leonora Francis says:

    Do you know, if you edited that article a bit it would make a great story. for a magazine It was so comical and I was giggling all the way through. Enjoy your retreat!

  5. juliathorley says:

    I’ve tried to do a retreat at home, but never manage it because I work from home and the temptation to do ‘just a bit’ are too great. I really need to get away from the premises. Your mention of the Artist’s Date reminds me that I haven’t done one yet. Note to self: GET ON WITH IT!

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