When life gets busy, a writer's thoughts can turn to getting away from it all. Finding a quiet room somewhere with a desk, a chair, a light, and a bed. One that won't break the bank. Maybe even one where simple meals are delivered a couple of times a day. No phone, no laundry, no Internet.
In such a setting, I dream of being super productive. Writing furiously for days on end, broken only by a daily long walk and a nap. Completing the last 100 pages of the work in progress. Doing an entire edit. Starting a new idea. Crafting a short story start to finish.
In reality, as Aine Greaney points out in Writer with a Day Job, there's often a few hours or a day at the beginning of adjusting, of settling in. Still, I think I'm gearing up for carving out some time. Aine recommends the Wellspring House in Western Massachusetts (whose room is pictured here), a retreat house for writers and artists. Or perhaps my friend Deb's beach house is empty for a weekend. Anywhere away from home where I can have more than 5 hours of uninterrupted time would be superb.
There are established artist retreats where scholarship winners can stay for weeks, even months. MacDowell in NewHampshire. The Norman Mailer Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Oregon Writers Colony. Dorland Mountain in California. They are competitive to get into with a long application lead time, though, plus then you need to be able to take the time off work to actually work there.
Possibilities for the future, sure. For now? Which weekend in the fall can I just claim?
And how about you? What kind of writing retreat works the best? Have you found a good one?