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
- 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