ID-10048276In the most part – unsurprisingly – writing. Who’d have thought?! In all seriousness, that’s not an easy question to answer, given the range of different retreats you may find.

The ‘get away from it all’ retreat

A popular choice for authors and would-be authors who struggle to find peace to write at home. Life’s demands, family, environment, no time, poor concentration…all can be conducive to non-existent word counts. For many authors, ‘getting away from it all’ is exactly what they need to evoke creativity, to carve out the time they need to write, and to focus on little else. Most of these retreats are in lush countryside or scorching hot countries, to enhance the ‘fish out of water’ feel. Different routine, different mind-set, different results.

The ‘learn and apply’ retreat

Some retreats include workshops, as well as ‘quiet time’ to write. With pre-arranged seminars, conferences and/or practical workshops, these can prove valuable to authors in need of feedback and direction. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll know I’m no advocate of an author doing everything themselves; objectivity is hard to come by, and a third party can bring useful insights. Your readers should never be the first people to see your book, nor can you rely on the opinions of Aunt Flo or your loved ones – their lack of experience is one thing, their bias is a whole different matter altogether. If you want to create something your readers will enjoy, don’t guess. Ask for help in the appropriate places.

This kind of retreat may not dangle as much writing time, but instead, offers valuable expertise at an affordable price. Information, inspiration and motivation can then be taken home (not everyone needs to ‘escape’ to write).

The ‘authors’ get-together’

More of a social event, these retreats can also involve workshops alongside fun activities, walks/visits to places with literary connections, and creative brainstorming. Traditionally, a solitary bunch, authors can find plot inspiration, advice and solidarity amongst fellow writers. And all work and no play makes Jack a dull writer, sorry…boy.

Discussing the intricacies of, and the obstacles within, your story with your partner isn’t the same as sharing it with a sounding board who’s in exactly the same position. It’s cathartic to discuss these things with others that not only understand but actually want to hear about it.

Developmental editor and publishing consultant Diane Hall is the author of three books; she has also ghost-written books for others and created a plethora of content, on more subjects than you could care to imagine, for numerous clients since the beginning of her career. She is proud to have fundamentally shaped series of books and more than a hundred individual titles over the last decade with various authors, nationally and internationally. Diane-Packages-2

Among her editing qualifications, she holds a linguistics diploma, which involves the study of language and speech. Diane employs this knowledge in the forensic linguistic work she sometimes undertakes.

Diane has seen the introduction and subsequent rise of self-publishing, and passionately keeps abreast of its disruption of the publishing industry. She is a thought leader when it comes to the future of book marketing, fuelled by the poor results authors see when employing traditional techniques.



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