A Writing Retreat - Report from this time around

I head to Cape Cod every summer for a long-standing writing retreat. I always look forward to it long before summer, and I depend on it to power my writing long after it's over. I just returned from this year's, and I'm withdrawal, though I'm also quite inspired. How do we organize it? We share the cost of VRBO or Airbnb. Then the person who communicates with the rental folks gets taken out for dinner one night. This time it was me and I chose a restaurant in Woods Hole, where all the scientists and oceanographers hang out.
The usual suspects
The perks:
Uninterrupted writing time and meditation/flow to craft story-plot-character.
Hearing my fellow authors typing away with occasional snorts of hilarity, followed by equally hilarious explanations. Laughter is always welcome.
Brainstorm sessions with the authors during morning coffee, at dinner and at beach.
After-dinner readings and helpful critiques.
Tarot Card readings and parlor games involving writing skills.
Shared "war stories", biz tips and giggles.
We take turns making dinner so we get lots of variety, and only have to cook one night.
My morning station

My afternoon station

The downsides:
A week is too short! I've just fully hit my stride when it's already time to pack it in. Having essentially five full days makes me reluctant to take any downtime to visit the local museums or glassblowing studio. I do allow swims at the beach, but little else. As a result, there's a danger of burnout, and a sore back and neck.
A hot room with inadequate or no AC.
Bug bites when eating picnic dinners.
Going around July 4th - too many scary fireworks way too close! Too much traffic.
View from the restaurant in Woods Hole, Ma.
The solutions:
Next year, rent a place for at least two weeks!
Bring along a screened tent or rent a place with a screened in porch.
Take a strong fan.
Go later in July to avoid July 4th issues, but not so late in summer that we can't take advantage of power-boost to summer writing.

What about you? Do you ever do writing retreats? If not, how do you manage to get extended blocks of writing time?
What we needed!
What we had


  1. How fun! Thanks for sharing your retreat with us. I've never been on a writing retreat, but one day, I'd love to go. I don't get extended blocks, but I make do. :)

    1. Understandable. My sons are out of the nest pretty much, so it has freed up my time a lot!

  2. It sounds like you had a pretty good time. I would love to go on a writing retreat someday, but I'd need one with AC. :)

    1. Yes, we had AC in each bedroom, though mine didn't work so well!

  3. Sounds fun. I don't get that much time off anymore. I make do with 4-day weeks when I can. I have fond memories of summers on the Cape and the Outer Banks on sreened-in porches.

    1. Cool. Maybe some day we can meet up on the Cape or around there.

  4. Sounds like a blast! Except for mosquitoes. Lol. I worry I might go into tourist mode and not get any writing done.

    1. I did go jewelry shopping one morning. Sea glass earrings!!!

  5. Wow. A fun and productive way to spend a week.


What's happening in your dimension?