Writing Retreat

Last Thursday I flew south and met up with two friends, authors Leisl Leighton and Marnie St Clair, for a 4-day writing retreat (although it was only two and a half of actual writing thanks to travel). We stayed in a holiday house on the Mornington Peninsula, just a short walk to the beach.

Image result for map of australia with mornington peninsula

Here’s the view of the area from a nearby lookout:

The great thing about being on a retreat with friends as wonderful as the ones I was with is that when we needed to be focused and write we did.

Not to say we didn’t take breaks – I certainly can’t sit at the computer for hours on end. With the beach so close it was hard to pass up such a wonderful walk:

Above – View from the path (it wound it’s way in front of and behind the bathing boxes – built over a hundred years ago in response to the prim and proper Victorian idea of morality when bathing. The boxes are mostly still true to their architectural heritage but the owners have stamped them with their own individualisation by way of paint).

Above – view from the beach looking back at some of the bathing boxes.

With fun, relaxing company and some wonderful weather, a perfect location and without the distraction of family it’s no wonder I managed a lot of words. I finished the trip about 12,500 words ahead (when you add and subtract the additions and deletions).

Turns out the trip was also a great recharge of the batteries (a bonus I hadn’t thought about). With no-one to worry over but myself and a few days removed from the daily grind it was as good as a holiday. A holiday where I worked really hard and loved every second.

Have you ever been on a retreat (or something similar)?


10 comments on “Writing Retreat

  1. No, never been on any kind of retreat but itching to do so once I am retired from my 9-5 gig. I have my eye on a 10 day silent retreat just a couple hours north of me. I’d also love to go on retreat to draw and paint. You’re providing some needed inspiration, AJ! Thanks!


    • A 10-day silent retreat sound incredible. I can only imagine how much you could achieve in that time (and what a mental recharge that would be). I hope you get there, Deb!

  2. It sounds wonderful! No, never done a retreat, though I’ve yearned for one. Maybe a couple of days in Apollo Bay, where there is a lovely YHA…

    So, when are we going to see your debut novel? 😁

    • Heh, I’d love to be able to tell you, Sue! But this manuscript will hit the query trenches later this year, so…we’ll see =)

  3. I went on a self-directed religious retreat at the Trappist monastery in Conyers, Georgia (http://www.trappists2.org/holy-spirit-abbey/). Did a lot of praying and writing, not to mention sleeping. I had done it originally because I wanted nothing to do with a user conference that people were pressuring me to conduct sessions at, but it turned out to be a pretty amazing experience.

    • Wow, John, that must have been some experience! I had a look at the site and the grounds of the monastery look incredible. It’s sad you had to escape to the monastery to avoid something in your day-to-day life, but sounds like it was worth it.

  4. That looks glorious. Next year, hmm…

  5. Sounds lovely. I hear that such things are great for writing, but I’ve never tried one. Sounds like you’ll all need to meet… monthly? Well, often, anyway 😉

    • Monthly would be a delight, but I’ll settle for once a year – at least that is more likely to happen =)

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