Writing Retreats Are In The Business Of Getting You Writing

Joseph Heller said, " Every writer I know has trouble writing." I know I often have trouble writing at home when the demands of the day and life take over. That's why I invest in attending regular writing retreats. It's where I make headway on major writing projects each year and where I am my most productive.

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I recently had lunch with my wonderful friend and fellow coach and author Rasheed Ogunlaru, author of the lovely book Soul Trader http://www.rasaru.com/soul-trader/ Over lunch and tea we chatted about business and writing. Rasheed considers himself a coach who writes whilst I describe myself as a coach for whom writing is an everyday rhythm of her life. We laughed over our different definitions but both agreed that at the end of the day there are many different routes you can take to become a writer and what route you take doesn’t really matter.

As we continued our conversation it became apparent that we both experienced the ying and yang of the writing life. We both knew the value of stillness when it came to immersing ourselves in writing away from the distractions of work and living. We both know what it's like to hit that sweet spot in your writing where the writing that emerges flows and takes on an energy and flow that has a life all of it’s own.

But most days are not like this. Most days we arrive at the page and what we write is incoherent, doesn’t link together and doesn’t always make sense. But what makes the difference is showing up, of writing and re-writing. That's how a body of work gets created. That’s how books, articles, novels and short stories get written.

Then there are the moments like today when I’m writing in between the space of finishing up for the day and getting home to prepare the dinner. Or like I did this morning where I hit the page as soon as I secured a seat on the train determined to get in my twenty minutes of writing early on in the day.

But what I love most is when I get away on a writing retreat. When I’m away from the dishes, having to take the clothes out of the washing machine or attending to the never ending demands of the day. Away on retreat without my own self inflicted demands I don’t have to wear make up or thankfully think about what to wear. The time on retreat is focused on concentrating on writing.

Retreats provide a creative incubator, a place to retreat to where as writers and creative artists you get fed and nourished. In my work as a creative writing workshop leader I get to do my best work whilst leading retreats and I love it. The Inside Out Writing retreat I am leading at the end of May in Greece this year is special and it’s where I come to life creating creative rituals and ceremonies to inspire the writing and stimulate your creativity. Amazing things happen on retreats. Writers find their voice, many reconnect to their 'Writing Mojo' or a novel or short story is developed in leaps and bounds.

I use my skills as a coach and interfaith minister to provide the spiritual guidance and sustenance that is required to support the writing work that takes place when we bring our full selves to the page. So if you’re a professional who has a busy life, is time starved but has a longing to write or progress a writing project then the Inside Out writing retreat happening at the end of May in Greece maybe just the writing prescription your writing self requires.

Think of this as a working holiday in a location that just happens to consist of the most fluorescent blue skies, bordered by mountain ranges sprinkled with olive trees and tailed off with the most calming sea salt water. More than likely you’ll welcome both the space and to refuel so you can be more productive on the page.

·For a whole week you'll have the time and space to draft those pieces of writing that have stayed on the back burner, start a novel or a short story or revise and edit writing in progress.

·You’ll have plenty of opportunities to share your writing and get intimate and specific feedback from a trusted group of fellow writing companions.

·At the start of the week you’ll set your writing target and together we’ll work on you reaching this with ease.

·Throughout our week together I’ll be sharing everything I know about creating and sustaining a writing life, setting up and maintaining a blog, getting on track with social media and tips on getting published.

·Away from home the focus will be solely on you and your writing (isn’t that wonderful). And oh, did I forget the gorgeous nutritional food (much of it sourced locally) and prepared with love and the afternoons spent retreating down by the sea.

To join this year’s retreat click here to sign up and follow the instructions to get the best flight on offer http://www.alexandros-kalikalos.com/creative-writing-greece

All participants on this year’s retreat win a place on our re-launched 'Paper Therapy' online personal development programme.

This is a small and intimate group which means you really get to receive and give your writing self the time and input it deserves. You'll also receive personal one to one tutorial time with me during the week.

Jackee Holder

Professional & Personal Coach, Author, Speaker & Journal Coach, Life Is A Work In Progress!

I am energised and come alive when I am writing and journaling and over the years I have filled the pages of over one hundred journals. I am a bookaholic and see writers of all genres as part of my natural tribe. I am qualified in many areas of personal development and well-being including a Masters degree in creative writing and personal development from Sussex University and in the completion stages of training as a psychosynthesis counsellor. But by far life and it many bumps, bruises and triumphs continues to be my greatest teacher. Life has been a series of adventures and challenges but creativity has remained a mainstream force of my life. This means that over a period of twenty years I have authored four published books, 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well, Be Your Own Best Life Coach, The Journal Journey Guidebook and Soul Purpose along with numerous workbooks, e-books, free journaling products and articles for a range of journals and magazines. I have recently launched The Inner and Outer Nature Self Discovery deck of cards which brings together my love of journaling and nature. In my professional vocation I work as a corporate coach, coach supervisor and leadership facilitator. I love what I do, no two days are the same and I love how I can bring so much of what brings me alive into this work. I care about our environment and have a deep reverance for trees and nature. I hold nature and journaling as my go to sources of well being and write regularly around the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing, connecting with nature and journaling. Twice a year I open the doors to my online well being journaling class, Paper Therapy. Over five weeks you are immersed in a world of journaling prompts and exercises that empower you to creatively and mindfully grow a daily or weekly journaling practice. You will learn about the therapeutic benefits of journaling and how journaling can help you thrive even when you are challenged and stretched. Paper Therapy http://www.jackeeholder.com/events/paper-therapy-online-journal-writing-course/ I journal regularly, love listening to an eclectic range of podcasts interviews which challenge me to think outside the box. I am an early morning urban city walker and love the quiet hum of the mornings when most of the rest of the world is asleep. I have a real curiosity about trees and tree mythology and love the way trees beautify our and resource the environment. London is my home and for now I feel so lucky to live in the city with the most green parks and spaces in the world. You can find Jackee here: http://www.jackeeholder.com Follow me on my urban walkabouts at Instagram:@jackeeholderinspires @girlabouttown Twitter: @jackeeholder