I have always wanted to go on a writer’s retreat. “Serious” writers tend to scoff at those retreats. They say, “If you can’t fit in your writing during your normal day and write in whatever space you have available, a writer’s retreat isn’t going to help you.” That statement might be right, but that’s no reason to completely diss the writer’s retreat. That’s sort of like saying, “Why would you go on a romantic getaway with your partner? If you can’t fit sex in during your normal life in your own bed/house, then a romantic getaway isn’t going to help you.” Of course we all fit sex into our normal life. Sometimes that is more challenging than others. When you have children, like I do, it can be challenging just to find a time when the kids are asleep, and even then you have to be super quiet so they don’t hear you through the cardboard walls the builders thought would be sufficient. So you plan a romantic weekend or evening away to really go at it and reconnect.
Same with writer’s retreats. No writer needs to go on a retreat, but how heavenly would it be to only worry about writing all day long for a weekend or a week? To just show up and have someone else make your food and take care of the practicalities of life? So in thinking about writer’s retreats, here are a few places I would love to go. These are only places I love, I have no idea whether there are writer’s retreats here or not.
Whitsunday Islands, Australia
I would love to go to the Whitsunday Islands for a week, be on a tall ship and sit on the deck and write. Maybe snorkel during my breaks and enjoy a lovely glass of Australian wine at dinner. There would be a small crew on board to tend to my needs, and maybe my husband could come as well, just so we could combine romantic getaway with writer’s retreat. It’s been more than 10 years since I have been to the Whitsunday Islands and I would love to go back.
Balm Beach, Canada
Balm Beach is a sleepy town in Ontario in Canada on Georgian Bay. I would love to go in the winter when the lake is frozen over, the tourists have gone home and the world around my cabin is completely white with snow. A local man would bring me groceries a few times a week, but for the rest I would be alone.
It would sadly mean I would have to cook for myself, but I would just make easy dinners. During the afternoon I would go on long walks in the snow and in the evening I would make a log fire and sit in front of it with my laptop and a glass of nice Ontario wine.
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Another place I would love to go to is Cornwall, and particularly St Just. I was there not too long ago and it’s such a beautiful part of the world. I would rent a cottage with a housekeeper who would come twice a day to make me food (yes, I am that lazy). I would go on long walks and in the evening I would read and write near a fire. I would go in October, so that there is a bit of a chill at night and there would be no tourists.
Of course these are all just fantasies. I haven’t found an affordable writer’s retreat yet. I wouldn’t mind organising one myself if I knew a few real life writers to go with, but for now I will just dream of going to these places solely to focus on writing.