Like a lot of writers, I have a day job so I don’t have to live in a box eating my own toenails. I fit my writing in when I can, usually in the evenings.
The idea of going on a writers retreat is certainly appealing. But these retreats don’t come cheap. So I started to wonder – could you do a DIY writers retreat? I think so. Even better, there may be a way you could even get paid while you do it.
A retreat provides somewhere to stay, something to eat and sometimes feedback from a seasoned writer. The professional feedback isn’t something you can get without paying (usually), but let’s look at the other two.
Somewhere to stay
A hotel or self-catering accommodation can be pricey, not to mention travel and food on top. There is the option of simply locking yourself away in your own place, but a change of scenery can work wonders for the creative juices.
You could offer your services as a house/pet sitter to family and friends. They get peace of mind and you get time out in a new place – possibly with a dog/cat/iguana for company. Travel and food costs will still apply but you might be able to negotiate a bit of monetary compensation for those. If you want to guarantee payment, you could provide official house/pet sitting services. it’s safest to do this via a professional agency.
Something to eat
Now on to food. To keep costs and distractions to a minimum, I’d suggest preparing meals in advance which you can then be reheated. If your cooking skills leave something to be desired, a few ready meals may be a better option. Or if you’re house/pet sitting for a friend you could barter a few meals stashed in the fridge in return for your services!
So there you are. A DIY writers retreat that may even make you money. What do you think? Have you ever been on a writers retreat? What do you think of them?