Preparing for My First Writing Retreat

The ultimate dream of any writer is to devote 100% of their time to their craft in a full-time capacity. However, in most instances, this is just not feasible. There’s the issue of supporting oneself financially, then there’s family and other personal responsibilities, and the list goes on and on.

Writing retreats and residencies are excellent ways to glimpse into this dream for a brief period of time. The purpose of retreats and residencies is to give writers the space and time to focus solely on writing, revising, editing, etc. in a supportive environment with other writers. It has been a goal of mine to attend a writing retreat, and I am happy to share that next week I will be traveling to Colorado to attend a Flash Fiction Retreat. This is a unique opportunity because it is a writing retreat devoted specifically to writing flash fiction, which you may know is right up my alley! Plus, it’s led by two flash fiction writers I greatly admire.

The retreat schedule will include two workshops a day; down time to independently write/revise, read, nap, explore the wilderness via kayaking or hiking; and one-on-one consultations with the workshop leaders.

I’ve been busy preparing a packing list, virtually meeting the other retreat attendees, and ironing out the travel logistics, but I haven’t sat down yet and thought through my goals for the writing retreat. What do I want to accomplish while I’m there? I think it’s important to outline some of my aspirations for the retreat ahead of time so that I can narrow my focus once I get to my retreat and hop right into writing.

Here are some of my goals for the retreat:

  1. Continue to write individual flash fiction pieces.
  2. Revise unfinished pieces.
  3. Use the one-on-one consultations to get advice about putting together a collection of flash fiction.
  4. Receive feedback on my writing from the workshop leaders and fellow writers.
  5. Catch up on reading flash from my favorite literary magazines.
  6. Read books that I bring (I’m planning on bringing two collections of flash fiction and a novel).
  7. Unplug from online so I can focus just on my writing.

I plan to write about my experience at this retreat and share some photos in my next–and final–blog post. Stay tuned!

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