Monday, 22 June 2015

A Strategic Retreat Part 1

I am sure many people feel that being a writer must be an easy life. You just have to sit at a computer each day and type. In some ways this can be true. However, a quote widely attributed to Ernest Hemingway describes otherwise. 'It is easy to write, just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed'. Both writing, and being a writer, can be hard work.

Recently life has been busy for me. I have been both editing one book, and writing another. I have also been doing events, giving talks, and doing research as well as trying to have a social life. Most writers will agree that being a writer means juggling a number of different roles. It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and writing time can be eroded. Sometimes, it feels good to retreat and spend time just writing.

I am fortunate, this week, to be on a writing retreat. I am staying in a cottage at the top of a cliff and the spectacular view from my window can be seen below.

The picture does not do it justice. The view is magnificent with waves breaking on rocks at the foot of the cliffs, multicoloured wildflowers and gorse in the fields, sheer cliffs dropping to the sea below and birds soaring below me. This is a writers paradise. One cannot help but be inspired writing in such an idyllic setting. It is both beautiful and peaceful, and conducive to writing. In fact I have spent the whole day doing so. Im writing this blog at 10:45 at night and, as this is Scotland there is still light in the sky. As I watch the cliffs grow darker, they are still magnificent. I count myself blessed to have such an opportunity.

I believe that retreats are an important part of a writers life. They give the writer time to reflect, relax and write. They provide time for the writer to focus and take stock of where their writing is going. This is just the first day but already I am energised and ready for the next book. I am looking forward to seeing how much I can do over the next few days. I look forward to seeing you back here again tomorrow. 


  1. Longing for mine - first week in August although it is a guided retreat with others. Sounds like you are having a completely alone, remote retreat. I've had a couple of those too in the past and loved them. Always took my dog, though - it was great to intersperse hours of writing with brisk walks

    1. Sounds idyllic Fran. Hope you enjoy your retreat