Tuesday, January 3, 2012

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday #112: Writing Retreat of Dreams

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:
Describe your dream writing retreat.
Where would you go? Who and what would you bring?

There can be a lot of trimmings and trappings to the creative process. I know some writers like a certain atmosphere, specific tools, just the right playlist, etc. But this question got me thinking: if I could have control over only one thing in order to write, what would it be?

When I thought about it, the answer was clear: Solitude. 

Maybe my Muse is shy. Or anti-social. Whatever the case, it's tough for me to get into a writing groove when other people are around. The whole writing in a coffee shop thing never works for me; I have a hard enough time even when it's only The Spouse. (Luckily we both have laptops, so it's easy to slink off into a corner and work.)

Okay, I've got the one thing I absolutely need, but what else? I really don't think I could handle the woods or mountains. SO not the outdoorsy type. But the beach would probably be way too seductive. I'd end up tanning and playing in the waves instead of writing. Plus, sometimes it's good to venture out for things like company and coffee.

The real point of the writing retreat is to get away from your every day issues and stressors and focus on your writing.

There's this great scene in the second "Sex and the City" movie where, feeling stressed and with a looming writing deadline, Carrie leaves the grandiose home she shares with Big and goes back to her tiny apartment. She spends a few days here, recuperating and writing, and emerges accomplished and renewed. At this point in her life, this space is a place just for her, an oasis where she can be alone and get her writing done.

For my writing retreat, I want a place in the city, away and at the same time in the middle of everything. I'm thinking luxury hotel. I could sequester myself during writing, but also go out when I needed a break. I could order food, nap, read, and make use of those hotel amenities like the pool and gym. And let's not forget the potential for people watching.

As for equipment, I wouldn't bring anyone (solitude, here I come!) and all I'd need is my trusty Macbook with everything it contains.

I bet the answers to this are going to be incredibly varied. Or maybe some of you agreed with me? Can't wait to read some of your answers!


  1. I could handle a luxury hotel ;) Room service would definitely be a plus. I think, for me, unless it was a hotel in a city I was fairly used to, I would be too tempted to get touristy and explore.

  2. I don't think I'd cry too hard over a luxury hotel writing room either :) Away from the distractions of home, but plenty of people-watching to do outside the window - sounds like a plan. Good choice!

  3. I definitely like the idea of spending time alone to work :) And a luxury hotel sounds very nice!

  4. The luxury hotel room worked for J.K. Rowling when she was finishing DEATHLY HALLOWS, so you're clearly not alone on that. I don't think that would work for me... but maybe when I get to book seven of my multi-million dollar best-selling series, I might think differently! :)

  5. @Crystal: That's actually the reason I didn't pick a hotel in an exotic city - way too much temptation!

    @Jaime: Bonus if the room comes with one of those jet powered hot tubs!

    @Miss Cole: Alone-ness is a must for me. I admire people who can work in public places.

    @Colin Smith: Stephen King has penned some of his short stories in hotels. In fact, some of them were based in hotels now that I think about it!

  6. Oh, a luxury hotel. Inside the bubbly bathtub with a flute of champagne and the laptop on the side LOL
    One can only dream, right? lol

  7. Two cheers for solitude and a Macbook! :) I'm one of those outdoorsy people though, so I'd totally go for Gaiman's writing gazebo. Haha! I actually mentioned something similar to that, but it's more a mini-house. I'd be able to stay there for a while.

  8. I love Gaimon's writing gazebo. I'd want one of those right here right now!

    I pictured somewhere beautiful and foreign for my writers retreat. Switzerland. Because if you're going to dream DREAM BIG. Plus I find nature inspiring and it's a 30 minute walk from Our Chalet (somewhere I briefly lived, pics on the blog) to the village. So leaving isn't easy, it's at least an hour commitment every time.

  9. @Juliana: That DEFINITELY cross my mind when I thought about luxury hotel - the immense swimming pool sized tubs!

    @Bailey: Mini-houses are awesome. Roald Dahl had a "writing hut," too, so it seems it suits some writers perfectly.

    @veela-valoom: Switzerland would be an amazing place to go on retreat. And then you could go SKIING!

  10. I'm currently plotting how to add a tea house or screenhouse to our garden, so I can have a place to work occasionally where laundry isn't crying out for attention. I'm more of a rustic cottage person than a luxury hotel kind of person though.


life.in.review: spring 2017

Ah, spring, or as I like to think of it, "BEES, AAGH, SO MANY BEES!" season. . mems .  The weather's been disgustingl...