Where to go to Write a BookGo where to write a book?
Clues to why you need a writing retreat and how you can make the most of it
While I' m typing this, I' m in a home at the head of Cape Ann in a place where I don't know a single souls. I' m on a writers' retreat. No. If you are a working mom like me, a new grad, a middle-aged stockbroker or a pensioned dowager, a writers' recreation could be just what you need to begin this novel, end your book of poems or rework the brief you wanted to mailed out.
You can' t understand why I have to go out of my home to do this when I have an own computer and an own workstation. How do you organise a write recreation, especially when you are short of resources and resources? Note the differences between a write meeting that provides courses and workshop and a write workshop.
Whilst a desk meeting like the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers' Convention in Middlebury, Vermont, can be great if you are at one point in your careers, if you want to throw your books ideas to the agent or take handicraft courses, you get very little desk work. And while it's great to be in an area where words are important, it can be very expensive to write a meeting unless you end up with a fellowship or two.
There' s as many different write reviews as there are authors. In order to find one, do a Google research or look at the back pages of Poets & Partners mag. At the top of the pile, for example, you will find venerated retreat places like Yaddo. Yaddo has residences for artist from all over the globe on 400 hectares in Saratoga Springs, New York.
It is a place that draws the best - John Cheever and Saul Bellow both have written here - and Yaddo performers have won 67 Pulitzer Prizes, 27 MacArthur Scholarships and 61 National Book Awards, among others. Yaddo and other well-established retreats have the advantage of providing both nutrition and shelter and are mixed with some good authors.
Disadvantage is that you have to spend at least two week, which can be difficult for many working authors with family. At the other side of the range are places that function more like writing communities. This retreat offers you a room with writing table, common bathroom, common cooking and flexible prices and length of your sojourn.
My favorite on this listing is Wellspring Cottage in the Berkshires, a neat and cosy cottage in beautiful surroundings. I' ll let you do your own write retreat. Do it. One of the advantages of "official" write reviews like Yaddo or Wellspring Houses is that you encounter other authors. I am still a friend of several persons I have met over the years while retreating.
The disadvantage, however, is that sometimes you have to eat or at least enjoy the bath and eat with those you prefer to not. For example, I was in a spiritual retreat where I was with a troupe of female writers who couldn't believe I was wasting my precious little precious fucking free day in business fabrication. When you really want to make the most of your write times, it is best to find a holiday home that is not being used, either by a boyfriend, a boyfriend of your parent or an off-season hire that is offered at places like Homeaway and VRBO.
You can also reserve a low-cost room with a refrigerator. Again, it's worth waiting for the seasons; I've got unbelievable offers in Cape Cod for example when I tell them that I'm working on a books and just need a calm room. If you are going on your withdrawal, allow yourself a break.
However, refuelling is also part of your work and you will be surprised how much more prolific you will be if you rest and clear your mind from time to time with a little work. Now, go write something!