RTW: A Writer’s Retreat

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s Road Trip Wednesday on YA Highway! For those that don’t know, Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival hosted by the talented writers at YA Highway. Each week they post a topic and invite people to blog on that topic. Participants can then comment on the YA Highway blog with a link to their response. This week’s topic: “Describe your dream writing retreat. Where would you go? Who and what would you bring?

I know this is going to sound really dull, but for me the ideal writing retreat would be… home. In my study. With my wife and kids close by (but not in the same room while I write). I would, of course, have my laptop, and some white noise running in the background. I don’t think I really need much else. All my writing tools are on my laptop, and, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, white noise is the perfect accompaniment for me while writing.

In theory I could write anywhere. In fact, I have. I have written during lunch at work, and at my in-laws while visiting for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But ideally, my dream would be to have time in my office at home where I don’t have to go to my day job, and I have nowhere else I need to be–I can just write. And when I want a break, I can leave my room and go spend time with my wife and/or the kids.

Have you ever thought of taking a writer’s vacation–getting away for a week or two just to write? Where would you go? Join in the blog carnival fun at YA Highway, and check out what others are saying!

41 thoughts on “RTW: A Writer’s Retreat

  1. JuHaygert

    Wow, Colin, I love your answer. It’s perfect. I wish I had thought of that lol
    I tried to come up with a really great, unique place and you just blew everyone away with your perfect answer.
    Awesome πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Thanks, Juliana! I know it’s not as exciting as the beach, or a tropical hideaway, but honestly, if I really intend to write, this is where it would happen.

      Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Yes, I can’t be too far away from civilization… and my wife and kids are my favorite company. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. 18204947645072077476

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Every book I have written I have done so on my couch. I even bought a desk thinking it was the best idea ever and honestly I’ve used it twice. Not that I don’t write anywhere else. If an idea comes to me I am writing it down, which is why I carry 3-5 small notebooks with me at all times. But when it comes to actually sitting down and writing there is no better place than my couch πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      The muse can strike anywhere, but given the choice, I’d rather write at my desk. I have a notepad that I take to work with me every day. It’s full of story ideas, potential agent/agency names, research notes–I even drafted my novel synopsis in it! But the serious writing happens at home.

      Reply
    1. cds Post author

      I think that’s what I value the most–the time. I need my day job to feed the family, pay the bills, and buy books (of course), so a vacation for me (writing or otherwise) doesn’t have to involve going anywhere. Just having all that time to do what I want to do is as good as a trip to the beach, or wherever.

      Reply
  3. Robin Moran

    I’ve always written at home. Always in the living room with a tv programme on in the background. It’s comfy and you don’t have to go anywhere but just once I’d like somewhere different. Just for a short change of scenery. There’s only so many times I can stay patient with a cat who likes walking across my laptop and smacking his tail in my face.

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      I’ve heard of lap cats, but a laptop cat?! *groan* I can take a change of scenery, but for research. If I really felt motivated, I could write elsewhere. But it wouldn’t be something I plan.

      Reply
  4. 08257069679941447068

    I have to say, I admire your ability to focus. I write primarily at home, but it’s often difficult to focus, what with all the distractions.

    I think the common thread between all the answers that I’ve read is that a laptop is essential!

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      The laptop is definitely standard equipment! As for focus, I would need to close the door and turn up the white noise, so there is an element of seclusion involved in my writing. But there would only be a door separating me from the rest of the household.

      Reply
  5. kate scott

    Sounds like a good writing spot. And let’s all be honest, if you went to some exotic paridice would you really want to write there? I love traveling but rarely get any writing done while I’m away.

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Travel is for research–at least in my book. Any writing would be taking notes, writing down impressions, maybe snatches of dialog, descriptions of people and places… but unless overwhelmingly motivated, I would have to leave the actual writing of the novel til I got home.

      Reply
  6. JaimeMorrow

    Truth be told, my personal home office seems to be the only place that I can successfully get any writing done. It’s nice to dream about amazing places elsewhere than well, here (though for January it’s pretty stinkin’ nice out – it’s above freezing right now!), but in reality home is where the work gets done. But you are definitely write about the family being elsewhere, like in another room. I can’t get any writing accomplished with the hubby looking over my shoulder.

    Great post, Colin πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Thanks, Jaime! I’ve always been a bit of a home-bod anyway… especially as a teen. I would go out with friends once or twice a week, but I never got stir crazy if I was at home. There was always something for me to do. So the idea of home as my writing retreat is quite natural.

      Reply
      1. JaimeMorrow

        I’m a complete hermit and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I spend a lot of time by myself and I kind of like it that way. I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I’m a complete misanthrope, because I’m not, but I do really like solitude.

        Reply
  7. Crystal Schubert

    Aww. Good answer. πŸ™‚

    For me, I get too distracted by being at home. There’s always something else that needs to be done before I can write, so it’d be nice to carve out time in a place that is professionally cleaned and maintained and I don’t have to do anything but write!

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      I’m sure my wife would want to get away from home if she was in my position. But since she’s at home all day with the kids schooling them and also doing housework, she has a very different perspective. She too would want to go somewhere where she can relax and not have to think about teaching and housework.

      Reply
  8. commutinggirl

    Great answer Colin! And how I wished too that I could just go upstairs in our guest bedroom/office/gym/store room (yes itΒ΄s a multipurpose room :-)) and write with my hubby close by. I have to admit though that a week on the shores of MA is also quite appealing πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      My office is a bit of a multi-purpose room too. But that’s more because if I didn’t have my device-of-exercising-torture there, I wouldn’t ever exercise. And it’s large enough to store stuff we don’t have a place for elsewhere, so it tends to accumulate things like broken computers, boxes, etc.

      Reply
    1. cds Post author

      I think so. A nice fancy location would be too distracting. Unless I was really motivated to write… and I wouldn’t rule that out. Like I said, I have written other places before, but that’s not my first choice.

      Reply
  9. Melanie

    I’d go to the beach any day but home works too if I didn’t have to worry about cleaning and cooking.
    In response to your iPad question- my iPad is still new to me so I’m still figuring it out, but I got a nice case for it with a built in keyboard for christmas, making it much easier to type. I do most of my writing at home, but it’s nice to have when I’m out or on vacation because it’s smaller than a laptop, more portable, and easier to use. My opinion, anyway. The only thing it can’t do right now which annoys me is the review option you can use on Word so I have to beta at home.

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      That’s true–traveling can be stressful, especially since I would want to take my wife and six kids with me. I couldn’t go somewhere nice and leave them behind… it wouldn’t seem fair. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Wow–I didn’t think there were many of us out there! Most others seem to prefer music. As I wrote in a previous article (see link in main post), I can’t listen to music and write. Music is way too distracting. And, as you say, silence is too loud. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Perhaps once I’m able to write full time, I’ll get sick of being at home and want to go out more. I’m thinking that’s when the exotic retreat will be more appealing. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Alexis Bass

    I write best at home too. πŸ™‚ I can force myself to write anywhere too, but at home, at my own desk is where the most magic happens.

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      I admit that the locations others have suggested look cool and interesting, but I can’t see myself visiting them for a writing retreat. I’d either want to live there, or perhaps vacation there and take that inspiration home to make into a novel.

      Reply
  11. Brianne Carter

    There’s no place like home, eh? As lovely as travelling as, it would be hard to write with all the distractions of a new place, inspiring as they may be. At the end of the day, home is where I write the most, so I really like this answer πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Thanks, Brianne! Home may not be the most exotic and exciting place to write, but I was thinking about somewhere where I would actually get some writing done–and this is it! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Amy Renske

    I can relate. That’s where I write now–in my tiny home office with my kids and husband often on the other side of the door. I fantasize about European locations steeped in history, but I can honestly say that there have been many moments when I glanced out my office window, just to give my eyes a break, and saw my children happily playing in the backyard while I was plugging away at my novel. I can’t help but smile in those moments and think, “Life is pretty darn good just the way it is.”

    Reply
    1. cds Post author

      Thanks for this reminder, Amy–yes there are things about my life that are not ideal, but on the whole, I’ve got it pretty good. And I really don’t think a change of location is going to make my writing any better.

      Reply

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