The Unexpected Gifts of My Writing Retreat


Today is my last day at my writing retreat. It’s time to pack up and go home. I had hoped to get so much done here and I was sad yesterday because I was feeling like I had failed.

Two weeks ago, I looked at my writing schedule and realized I could actually finish my Rapunzel draft while I was on retreat. That was before my computer died and I got sick. I lost a week and a half of work time, putting me way behind on my writing goals.

Although I managed (with lots of help from my wonderful husband) to pack and get up to the mountains as scheduled, I was still recovering from my cold when I arrived at the cabin. I’ve had to spend time sleeping, reading, napping, and oh, yeah, sleeping. I also did some writing, but no more than I would do during a normal week at home. And that bummed me out.

The retreat has not been what I expected. I have not accomplished the things I wanted to. But the good news is, other things have happened while I’ve been here, and I realize now how valuable they are.

  • I got to talk in-depth with my friends about writing and the vagaries of the creative process, both topics I find fascinating.
  • When I was full of doubt about my novel, one of my friends helped me to see that my instincts were good and I should go with my gut. I would still be agonizing over what to do if she hadn’t reassured me I was on the right track.
  • I got time to take care of myself. I went for a walk in the sunshine each day and got plenty of rest.
  • I was able to ease my way back into my daily routine, which had been completely abandoned while I was sick.

I wanted a finished manuscript, but I needed good conversation, creative support, and improved health. Fortunately, this week gave me a whole lot of the things I really need.

I’m feeling much better about the retreat now. So much better, than I can’t wait to get back to my writing.

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

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