As with any type of employment, writers need getaways just the same as anyone else. Although work schedules may seem a bit unconventional at times, the hours put in for any artist is just as tedious and at times very stress inducing. Many of us are a one man or woman operation; taking on the roll of several individuals. My down time is cherished and each of the past 3 years, since I turned to writing full-time, I have planned a week long writing retreat in Wildwood, New Jersey, during the middle of September.
I originally found this particular slice of heaven completely by accident the year I split from my wife. I needed a place to simply escape for a few days and I was familiar with Wildwood, as I had stayed in the area during peak season in the late 1990’s. This particular area was south of anywhere I’d been but I gave it a shot. It turned out to be a diamond in the rough. The motel was basically several beach front condo units privately owned and run by a management company. Each room had a beach front ocean view and the place came with all the amenities, heated pool, sun deck, snack bar, grills and within walking distance of a pizzeria and liquor store. That was the Summer of 2008. I visited each year since, usually again during the prime time of the season.
When I took to writing full-time, I had no idea just how tiring the daily grind of putting out pieces and building a writer’s platform would be. Three-quarters of the way through that first year, I felt as if I’d been working myself ragged. I needed a way to realign, to somehow reset my brain and my body, as I also suffer from chronic Lyme disease. I checked the website for the Madrid and saw the condos were available until October at half the normal cost. I immediately reserved a week in mid-September after the season had ended. It went so well that first year, I planned a writer’s retreat each of the two Septembers since. The beauty was there was absolutely no Wi-Fi. I was able to just enjoy the sun, the sand, the sounds and write at my leisure. I basically just pamper myself and answer to no one for 6 days. This past September was one of the best and I caught up on reading and was able to hash out plans for a writer’s resource website, I am currently working on and will soft-launch during December for a full launch on or around the first of January, 2018.
Artists are just like everyone else. They need the same creature comforts most seek when the road has been a bit too long. I am thankful I am able to reserve this personal writer’s retreat and reset everything each year. I cannot put a price on it nor can I explain just how rejuvenated I feel when I return to my desk the following Monday. My production definitely feels increased and it’s just what is needed to get me through.
Are you an artist or writer? Do you give yourself a planned time away? Even if you’re not, do you take time out for an annual retreat? Where to?