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If inspiration is all around us, is there any true value in attending a poetry writers retreat? Many poets believe there is.
Poetry retreats offer solace to some and an infusion of creative inspiration to others. Three good reasons to go on a retreat:
1. Inspiration and Encouragement: Sometimes our surroundings are where we find our greatest inspiration. A peaceful retreat in the smoky mountains of Tennessee or a summer amid the beautiful nature trails of Vermont can have a calming effect and open your imagination. Spending time among other writers offers validation and encouragement.
2. Unwavering Focus: Few of us have the luxury of uninterrupted time to write. Many of us, however, need to leave our usual work space to avoid the busyness we live with. With life’s disruptions all around us, it can be nearly impossible to focus. Poetry retreats offer unique opportunities for writers to be absorbed in their craft and really focus on writing—through quiet reflection, life’s “disruptions” become inspiration for art.
3. Personal and/or Spiritual Growth: Time spent alone and/or in the company of similarly focused writers in a safe environment can be nourishment for our personal development. Such an atmosphere can present occasions for spiritual connections within ourselves and our writing. This growth and development can stay with us for a lifetime and offer positive results which help our poetry evolve.
What’s the difference between a writing retreat and a writers conference?
A writers (or writing) conference offers great opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, learning experiences through workshops with accomplished poets, and dedicated sessions to receive feedback from your peers.
A retreat provides a safe, tranquil place to be with your thoughts and find quiet inspiration without interruption while offering the opportunity for constructive feedback.
How do you know whether a writing retreat or a writing conference is best for you?
Consider your writing needs and your personality. Perhaps your writing craves the privacy and solace a retreat has to offer. Or maybe the motivation found at conference venues better suits your needs, because you prefer to share the time with peers who can encourage and inspire through their creativity, as well as provide constructive feedback not always accessible to you.
Whatever your choice, your writing will be better for it.
QUESTION: Do you plan to attend any retreats or conferences this season? Share your tips on how to make the most of your time away.