Tuesday, October 29, 2019

20 Things to Do On a Writing Retreat

by Alycia W. Morales     @AlyciaMorales

As an introvert and a writer, I find it important to make it a point to get away from life every once in a while and take a writing retreat. A writing retreat can look like many things. A weekend alone in the mountains. A week with writerly friends at the beach. An overnight at a hotel near my home.

Whatever a writer retreat looks like to you, we must recognize the importance of taking time to ourselves and getting away from life so our creativity can flow.

What can a writing retreat do for me?

It's down time to rest. Sometimes a nap is all we need to renew our creativity.

A writing retreat can increase our creativity. Getting away from the daily grind gives our mind space to create new ideas.

If we attend a writing retreat with writing friends, we have a wealth of brainstorming genius at our fingertips.

Are you stuck in a writing slump? On a tight deadline? Maybe you just need a break from life and a desire to spend that break writing.

Here are 20 Things to Do on a Writing Retreat:

1. Take a nap.

2. Brain dump. This is putting all your thoughts on paper so you can sort them out.

3. Brainstorm with friends. This is coming up with options for whatever you need in your novel.

4. Take a walk or a hike.

5. Play a board or card game, like Scrabble or Scattegories or Balderdash or Apples to Apples.

6. Put away your electronics (except your laptop) and turn off your internet for a few hours so all you focus on is writing.

7. Cook a meal or bake a dessert. Then enjoy it. Note the flavors and scents. Use them in your story.

8. Take some photographs.

9. Find a local shop where your character would browse and visit it. Buy a souvenir.

10. Write in 30-minute sprees. Take a 10-minute stretch-and-grab-a-snack break. Write again.

11. Focus on one thing you need to improve in your storyline. Keep at that until you figure it out.

12. Read a book that's been on your TBR list for a while. Read a chapter, write a chapter in your own book. Read another chapter, write another chapter.

13. Have a cup of coffee or tea (or whatever else may help your creativity).

14. Visit a historical site. Look for inspiration for your story.

15. Go out to eat. What would your characters order off the menu if they were dining together?

16. Even if you go with friends, take a day to stay in your bed or out on a porch or somewhere off by yourself to do a writing marathon. No interruptions allowed.

17. Have a friend critique your latest chapter. Take some of their suggestions and tweak a chapter or two. Or your plotline.

18. Have a word count challenge. Who can write the most words in any number of minutes?

19. Take the time to create a playlist for your novel.

20. Watch a show or movie you enjoy and take a scene you can tweak to fit your own novel. Remember, there's nothing new under the sun. You just need to change some things to make it your own.

Click to Tweet: When's the last time you took a writing retreat? Here are 20 Things to Do on your next one!

Which one of these things would you enjoy doing on your writing retreat? Do you have any more ideas to add to the list? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!


  1. I enjoy writing retreats and conferences. Thank you for the tips. :-)

  2. Thanks Alycia. Great ideas. I took a writing retreat the end of October. I was preparing for a speaking engagemnt and needed time to write my script. I spent the day away at a local retreat center. The day was filled with walks, photograghing nature and writing. I was amazed at how much I got accomplished and how rejuvenated I felt. :-)

    1. That is so encouraging, Sheryl. Thanks for sharing. Blessings! :)