Ahhhhhhhhh. I just had to do that. I just had to take that moment to savor and sigh. I just returned from a writers’ retreat by the ocean.
I feel rested. I feel reflective. I feel restored. I feel like writing.
I can’t say enough about the benefits of retreats and workshops and this particular one included both. Offered by Anne Hollingworth of “Mermaid Retreats” in Maine, it featured an afternoon workshop with Rebecca Rule and lots of space and time to write.
My intention for this blog post was another subject entirely. But, the fruits of this weekend’s deliciousness just had to be shared.
I had a friend who always bristled when I suggested a writing workshop or retreat. She would say, “I already know how to write. Why would I waste time and money being told how to write?” To me that’s a sad example of closing yourself off to possibility and to community. The workshops and retreats I’ve attended have never tried to tell me how to write. But I’ve always come away writing.
Workshops, whether day-long or offered in a series, can be invaluable as motivators and energizers. Before I left for the weekend retreat, I spent the morning at a poetry workshop (the first in a monthly series) with Kimberly Cloutier-Green. I came away enriched and enlivened and ready to call myself “Poet.” Attending a poetry workshop was way outside my comfort zone and that’s why I went. I highly recommend such pushing of the boundaries that can limit us as writers and creatives.
Offerings abound. You’ll find some right in your own backyard. Prices vary and there are even retreats that are free for qualified retreatants.
Of course, I suggest doing a little homework in advance, especially when it comes to retreats. Consider the recommendations of people or organizations you know or respect. Read participant comments/reviews. Ask questions. What’s the facilitator/teacher’s philosophy? Is it compatible with yours? Because sharing our work or testing out our voice can be a fragile business, a responsible facilitator will create an atmosphere of safety conducive to mutual trust.
Meditate on the rightness of it for you. Trust your instincts. Then go for it!