I didn’t plan to write more than three times my normal pace when I went on a writing retreat this month, but that’s exactly what I did. It’s important to evaluate successes to find out what you did right and replicate it. I thought you might enjoy being in on my analysis, so I’m evaluating what caused my writing productivity increase in this update. Here are the pertinent factors:
- My writing retreat partner shared my level of dedication to the craft. Choosing someone who will respect your writing time has a lot to do with the success of a retreat.
- I came prepared. There was no doubt in my mind about what I’d work on at this retreat. I was able to start immediately upon arrival
- I had a room to myself where I set up a table for my computer by the window. I could close the door whenever I needed to signal that I wanted time alone.
- We were in a private residence with all the comforts of home. There was no need leave, and being there was completely comfortable.
- My room had a view overlooking the ocean. I learned at a previous retreat that nature sparks my creativity. I sat sideways to the window so it didn’t distract me, but glancing out now and then to look at sea birds or watch the tide gave my eyes a chance to look somewhere other than the screen. It also let my mind rest and boosted my creativity.
- We ate in. My writing retreat partner and I took turns preparing simple meals for one another. We both pitched in for clean up, making it quick work so we could return to our writing as soon as possible.
- I didn’t stay up late. At other writing retreats, I have burned the candle at both ends, but this time I yielded to my body’s need for sleep. Instead of staying up late, I set the alarm for early morning. I’m sure that getting enough shut-eye was a factor that helped increase my writing productivity.
- I was on deadline. Looming deadlines helped me keep my attention on writing. My writing retreat partner and I shared some fun and interesting conversations during our time away, but we didn’t let these get out of hand and consume our writing time. Needing to meet deadlines served as my reminder to go back to work.
Final Thoughts From Janalyn
My motive for going on a writing retreat was to escape the distractions and duties that vie for my attention at home. If you’ve never had this experience, pack your bags immediately! :o)
Have you gone on a writing retreat, want to go on a retreat, or don’t like the idea of a retreat? Comment to let me know your thoughts.