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Write More by Janalyn Voigt for Live Write Breathe

Write More in a Day

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. We were in a private residence with all the comforts of home. There was no need leave, and being there was completely comfortable.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Write More in a Day via @JanalynVoigt | Live Write Breathe

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

4 thoughts on “Write More in a Day”

  1. Janalyn, thanks so much for sharing your tips for success.

    I’ve done this on my own a few times and found it valuable. My question for you is this: other than the shared meal prep and clean up role, what was the value of a retreat partner? Did you connect at some point in the day to review your progress or brainstorm?

    Thanks! Deb

    1. Hi, Deb. Thanks for the comment and question. I have yet to go on a solo writing retreat, so I can’t give a full perspective on the pros and cons. My retreat partner and I are close friends and kindred spirits, so we didn’t need to follow a formal schedule. We discussed our progress, writing careers, book projects along with more personal topics in tea breaks, over dinner and while walking for exercise. You can’t find this kind of networking in a formal setting, and our friendship has grown over years of retreating together. However, going on a solo retreat is on my radar at some point. I suspect I’ll get lonely but accomplish even more. I’ll write about how it goes when I do.

  2. I’ve never been on a writing retreat, though I’d like to. I think I could very easily create a retreat atmosphere here at home. I only have myself to worry about–no hubby or kids to look after. As spring approaches and the weather warms up, I think I’ll plan an at-home retreat once I can open the windows and let warm breezes and sunshine inspire my creativity.

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