The DIY Retreat

So far, I’ve been lucky enough to have been on two writing retreats, to Sagra Delle Words in 2014, and a self-guided retreat in 2015, both at the wonderful Ozu Cultural Centre, near Monteleone, Italy. There’s something fantastically luxurious about having nothing to focus on but your writing, and, honestly, it’s addictive.

Ozu Cultural Centre, Monteleone Sabino

In the next couple of weeks, I’m hoping to book my place at Swanwick Writers’ School, and I cannot wait to spend the week listening, learning and, of course, writing. But that’s not until August, and right now, August feels a long way away.

So this weekend, I’m going DIY. The nice, safe, easy(ish) kind, with no nails…

A few years ago, I bought a book about how to write a travel article in a weekend. Now, that’s not this weekend’s goal, but between that, and an article in February’s Writing Magazine, I’ve designed my own writing retreat.

I’ve stocked the cupboards with a weekend’s worth of delicious (and surprisingly healthy) food, the housework is done sufficiently that I can ignore it for three days, and most importantly, I have a plan: it’s me and the laptop.

Yes, I suspect I’ll get distracted at some point, and no doubt start to wonder if I can write whilst watching Deadliest Catch (probably not, but I shall try nonetheless), but it’s good to at least set the time aside and see what happens.

Having gone through the WIP from November, and deleted notes, repetitions etc., I have 27,608 words. Going at the rate of my best weekend in November, I have a target of 3,000 words for this weekend, as well as a couple of other bits and pieces I want to get sorted whilst focusing on the writing.

Fingers crossed it all goes well – I’ll report back on the other side.

Oh, and if you see me messing around on Facebook, do tell me to get back to my desk!



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