Five members of Skelmersdale Writers’ Group, including myself went on writing retreat in two pine lodges sited on the edge of the river Wye the week before last.
This was our second retreat and it was so good I’m sure we’re going to make it an annual event. Last year there were four of us and we stayed in one lodge at Hay-on-Wye. This year there were five of us so we needed two lodges so that we could have a room each to ensure privacy to write.
We had a routine established from the previous year that we would write all morning, meet for lunch, then either go for a walk in the lovely surroundings or have a trip out to one of the local towns, then more writing before sharing dinner and a few glasses of wine before having a joint feedback session on the day’s work. We usually finished off by relaxing with a film or TV programme.
This worked very well as it is important to balance work with rest and leisure and time to think. A writing retreat is a fantastic opportunity to focus on a specific project. I took with me a completed novel that needed final editing and revision and I managed to finish that but I was also keen to do some new writing so I allocated part of each day to a partly-written novel that I had left hanging while editing and preparing other work for publication.
We did have to cook but we managed this by joint shopping trips, taking turns to prepare meals and making simple meals so that we were all able to relax. I think we all really enjoyed it and I was pleased to come home with a briefcase full of work and plans for the future. The seven days went over so quickly. Our hosts at Boatside Holiday Accommodation were wonderful and we had everything we needed and absolute peace to get on with our work. November is an ideal time because the holiday season is over so we more or less had this beautiful location to ourselves and the accommodation is more readily available and less expensive than earlier in the season.
I came home energised and refreshed and I can’t wait to go back again next year, perhaps even more of Skelmersdale Writers will be retreating next time!