This year I intended to go on two writing retreats, but 2020 had another idea entirely.
Today's video is another collaboration with Marisa Mohi, a fellow authortuber, and we planned at-home weekend retreats. If you're interested in planning your own, I have some tips.
1. Preparation: If you were to go on a regular writing retreat, you would probably set aside a day or several days. While it's not always possible to get days or even hours at home, it's helpful if you can try to set aside the time. Let your family know that you need the space to write. I also recommend turning off your phone or leaving it in the other room, so you're able to get uninterrupted work time.
For me, weekends are the best time for getting some "me time", so I suggest just finding the best time for you based on your schedule.
2. Set up your space: Try to get away from your usual location where you write, that way, it can put you in a mindset that you are in a different place entirely. In addition to changing my space, I like working on my laptop instead of my PC.
I also use some writing hacks such as using my Spotify playlist for my current work in progress, writing in Comic Sans font, and writing sprints, to name a few.
Also, if you can, find an accountability partner to work with you. There are many online options such as StreamYard, Zoom, Discord, etc. that you can work with others to check in during your writing time. I like having a friend who I can chat with between sprints about any issues we may have with our projects and getting back to work as soon as possible after that.
In addition to my hacks, I know a lot of writers write with candles lit, or they have coffee, tea and/or snacks nearby. I suggest if you do have something that you always have with you during your writing process, have that with you during your at-home retreat as well to get you in the writing mood.
3. Goals: Goals are not for everyone, but I always find it helpful to know what my goal for a retreat is before going. It doesn't have to be something rigid, like planning out every second of the time that you have during your at-home writing retreat. But knowing what you want to accomplish ahead of time, whether it's a day before or even a few minutes before, will allow you to get the most out of your time.
Overall, to turn my mind into this retreat mode, I like to make these little changes, like setting up a new space and being distraction-free, but they are not necessary. If you can't change your area, I suggest locking your door if possible for even 20 minutes to an hour (even more is better!), if you can, just so that you're able to feel as if you may be somewhere else writing.
Let me know in the comments below what your at-home writing retreat would look like, I would love to know.
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Author. Dreamer. Storyteller.