The Retreat

Quick Update from the NaNoWriMo Front: I am well on my way to 50,000 words by Nov. 30th, but it is looking like this story will be exceeding that, if my outline is any indicator. I am holding steady with my commitment to write between one and two hours, first thing in the morning, and it is exhilarating. Ok, back with more later…

lone house in field

I mentioned visiting Wordstock in my last post, and besides the historical fiction panel, there was another aspect of it that struck me rather forcibly:

more “writers’ associations” than one would expect from such a small city/ metropolitan area (although some did come from other parts of the state), and

a profusion of these that offered ‘Writers’ Retreats.’

Now, what are these? Writer boot camps? Silent timed writings administered by yoga teachers? I haven’t been on one myself, but I was knocked over the head by the imagery that each table-station used to draw customers in (and must admit, felt a strong pull too). What was the appeal?

As I saw it, there were two: ESCAPE and SAFETY.

Escape from what?

  • Everyday life
  • The daily grind
  • The rut you’re in
  • The troubles you don’t want to face
  • The truths you can’t bring yourself to admit

Escape to what? Safety in:

  • Like-minded individuals
  • Quiet setting
  • Anonymity
  • Atmosphere of Withheld Judgement

Wouldn’t anybody like some time with this type of environment? So why were they Writers‘ Retreats? Are the associations perhaps using this “Escape” marketing technique to get to the writer inside of all of us? Or just being opportunistic and catering to our fears and insecurities?

I’m not sure what to think about it, since I was simultaneously drawn in by the tractor beam and repulsed by its craven call.

What do you think, are they Writers Retreats, or just retreats? Is it an avoidance behavior, or a useful focusing tactic?

I’d love to hear your take on this, since I’m sure may have some interesting opinions/ experiences…

 

Image via Keepitlit

One Response to The Retreat

  1. Pingback: Fit Writing into Your Life | Margaret Pinard, Writer

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