After spending so much time writing at home, you may be ready for a change of scenery. While attending a writing retreat might seem like a great way to refresh your mind and your writing, budget concerns, scheduling limitations, and the fact that your favorite retreat may currently be on hiatus means you’re still stuck in your house. But don’t give up hope! At Writer’s Relief, we have some tips to help you create your own rejuvenating mini writing retreat without breaking the bank.
Ideas For A Mini Writing Retreat On A Budget
Set off for an exciting new locale…at home
If you usually write at a desk in your bedroom or home office, switch to another room in your house. Your living room or kitchen window might have a great view of the horizon or overlook interesting architecture. Wherever you relocate, choose a spot near a window, preferably to the front or side of your writing space. Natural lighting helps you relax and concentrate when you’re writing for hours at a time. Your backyard or patio can also stand in for a peaceful garden setting.
You can create inspiring ambiance with inexpensive scented candles, gentle spa music, even some sticky notes with inspirational quotes.
Try a new location that’s nearby
If there’s a coffee shop, a library, a beach, a botanical garden, or a park nearby, consider moving your mini writing retreat to one of these “exotic” locations. Writing in a different setting can help stimulate your creativity and may even offer some unexpected inspiration from the passersby, sounds, or scenery.
You could also offer to housesit for a friend! In exchange for watering the plants or feeding the cat, you’ll enjoy a mini writing retreat in a new location. If it’s in your budget, spend a day at a nearby hotel. With more people working from home, some first-rate hotels now allow guests to experience a change of scenery by booking a room just for the day. You’ll be able to enjoy the hotel amenities while you’re there, so spend a few hours writing, then jump in the pool!
Get in the “write” frame of mind
Sure, you want to spend lots of time writing while on your retreat. But you should also take some time to get yourself into a creative mindset. Read the work of an author or poet you admire, or perhaps a few chapters of a skill-building book like Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft. Sketch, freewrite, or loosen up your creative muscles with writing exercises. You can even try a few minutes of yoga or a meditation app!
Minimize distractions: Put your cell phone on “do not disturb” and stay away from videos of cute kittens on the Internet. Turn off the television. Put aside your grocery list and any other daily tasks that might chip away at your writing time. Let your friends and family know you will be unavailable. Whether you’re at home or at another location, this is your writing retreat, so use your time wisely!
Attend a virtual writing session
When you attend a writing retreat, there may be a few breakout sessions with talks about various ways to improve your writing skills. Your DIY mini writing retreat offers you a perfect opportunity to do the same without being interrupted. There are podcasts and YouTube channels featuring writing tips and advice that you can listen to or watch. Be ready to take notes and check out this great list of the Top 25 YouTube Channels For Creative Writers.
Stock up on writer fuel, aka snacks
Be sure you have plenty of smart writing snacks. For many writers, coffee is their go-to writing fuel. Keep in mind that sugary snacks may give you an initial burst of energy, but that rush will soon fade. Try a healthier balance with some fruit, nuts, or yogurt. Of course, feel free to reward yourself at the end of the day with a special treat—you’ve earned it!
So grab your calendar right now and pick a date for your mini writing retreat. When it’s completed, you’ll feel refreshed and your writing will be reenergized! And remember this one special benefit of creating a do-it-yourself, budget-friendly writing retreat at home or nearby: When you’re done, the commute will be a breeze!
Question: Where would you go for your mini writing retreat?
As a literary agent, writing instructor, and writer myself for over 40 years, I have to give this article a BIG TWO THUMBS UP! Every tip is right on point. We all NEED a change of scenery from time to time to kick our lazy Muse off the couch and get her working again, giving us the gift of beautiful words.