The Writers Retreat Experience
This past spring, I was bound and determined to write a manuscript over the summer for a research project that I had been working on for the past two years. Of course, I was bound and determined LAST spring to do this LAST summer but never got around to it. That’s why I jumped at the chance to be a part of the Writer’s Retreat when offered last spring. Even though I knew I could schedule my own time and find a safe and inspiring place to write, I find it challenging to actually do this. The Writers Retreat allowed me to put on my summer schedule, a few months in advance, an entire week that was devoted to writing – not to analyses, library trips, or massive reading – but to actually writing. The retreat also gave me an incredibly wonderful space to engage in the writing – away from distracting office tasks, email, and, yes, family members (though loving and loved as they are).
The other wonderful component of the retreat was the immediate support of present colleagues. Towards the beginning of the retreat, Susan Callaway, who organized and facilitated this opportunity, listened to a portion of what I was working on and gave me invaluable feedback that gave me confidence and enthusiasm to continue forging onward. At the end of the week-long retreat, I was part of a writing group, and for a few hours, listened and gave feedback to the most fascinating projects in other disciplines while also receiving fantastic feedback on my own work. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity and encourage others to take advantage of this experience if (hopefully!) offered again.