Writing, Resting and Reflecting

Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Last week, as a birthday gift to myself, I went on a personal retreat in a neighboring state. I’d wanted to do this for some time and found the retreat center I ended up going to be quite affordable and particularly welcoming to writers and other artists. There was a train station a mile from the center, and guests could arrange to be picked up from there. I looked forward to my long weekend and with tickets in hand last Thursday, my journey began.

Now, I’ve gone off to a park a couple of times to do some writing before, but this was different. This time was a conscious effort on my part to ‘get off the grid’, as it were. I brought my laptop to work on a writing project and it was used solely for this purpose. I seldom checked my email. Facebook was off limits. The center’s reading room had many newspapers and magazines for guests, but I found I didn’t have a desire to read them. And I didn’t miss TV a bit.

I was able to do significant work on my project, both in my room and in the well-stocked library. When I grew tired of being inside, I enjoyed long walks on the gorgeous center grounds, breathing in fresh spring air, the camera my only companion. There were benches scattered around to soak up nature in quiet reflection, and I sometimes journaled my thoughts.

On top of that, the center’s resident community was very welcoming, and I enjoyed delicious meals with them. It was wonderful to have the option to interact with them as much or as little as I wanted to.

It’s not always feasible to take a long weekend or even a week away from it all, but the constant go-go-go can be wearying and I really needed it. As a result of my time away, my mind feels clearer and less cluttered. I’m rested, refreshed and feel ready to tackle ideas for future writing projects. I hope to return later this year, perhaps the fall.

How about you? Have you discovered ways to get away to write, rest and reflect? If so, please share!


Mark said...

My creative siestas are a bit more restrained...but no less effective. I enjoy seeking out 'mom & pop' coffee shops and leasing a chair where I can sit and write all day. After reading your blog, however, I might consider a more adventurous retreat in the future :-)

Jill said...


I like the 'mom & pop' coffee shops too. However, they're few and far between in my area, so I have to make do with showing up at Panera as soon as they open on Saturday. I can get a good two and a half hours, sometimes three, in.

This was the first time I tried a more adventurous retreat.Hope you get a chance to try it also. :->

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