Five Fab things – Retreats

Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.

– Picasso

With summer’s last few golden hours slipping quickly behind us, and the aisles of most stores already packed with unsharpened pencils, three hole punched paper, and backpacks, while minivans and SUVs crammed with dorm essentials are worrying down the highways towards orientation, and the year starts to remember again what to-do lists look like, and offices are at capacity again, as are commuter roads, as are metro cars, the idea of leisure and retreat becomes a distant dream until winter, when snow reminds us.

Til then, here are some places and tips to help plan a creative getaway, either alone or with like minded artists to refill your creative tank.

1. This massive database can be a little overwhelming, but it does have notes about the requirements of certain centers, and is (mostly) searchable.

2. DIY retreat maker tips from poet Donna Vorreyer

3. Create space for a stay-cation style retreat

4. Think outside the box for budget retreats. I’m hoping to line one up using the West Virginia State park cabin finder, to serve as Poet Camp HQ for my writing group.

5. Think about places you might not otherwise write, and reserve time for yourself to go/carpool with friends with dedicated writing time. Fall is a beautiful time to sit on a bench at a historic home to do some free writing, libraries have free wifi and small rooms which are reserve-able, art museums with late hours – you get the gist! For those of you with school age children, my school library often let parents come in to work quietly in a corner once a week. Consider trading houses/offices with a friend so that you’re not in your own familiar space/patterns.

BONUS: If you can afford it, The Write Life’s lineup looks idyllic.

Sometimes it’s enough to not be in your familiar place to jar you into productivity. Try to let go of expectations about setting, and see what your neighborhood might offer!


Taken at my temporary desk at the Porches, in Norwood, VA 2015

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