Going On A Writers Retreat!

And how to plan your own.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

There’s nothing more exciting than going on a writer’s retreat. Going on a writer’s retreat has several benefits to them. They offer a great chance to relax and get away from your normal everyday life. It gives you a chance to get some extra writing done that you normally wouldn’t when at home. It gives you a chance to learn more about different topics in the writing industry. And finely, it can offer you a great opportunity for networking with other writers. Writers around the area or country.

Being a writer is a lonely business. When writing you are usually in your home holed up in a small office or kitchen table. You are so focused on your writing that even if you are in a public place you’re not talking to anyone.

There are two types of writers retreats you can attend:

  • A full writers event and retreat

This is where you go away for a few days or up to a week. You will be around other writers and attend workshops and other writing events. Your even able to get some writing done while you’re at one of these retreats.

  • A DIY writers retreat.

This is where you can go away by yourself to do some writing that you can’t get done while at home. In this type, you are not around anyone but yourself. You don’t have to go far to have one of these events.

It is good to go somewhere other than your own home. The point of the retreat is to get away so you can concentrate on your writing. No household chores. No cooking for the family. No caring for the family instead of writing. No distractions whatsoever.

But what if you can’t afford to pay for a trip to a writer’s retreat in another state or part of the world?

The travel expenses and the expense of joining the retreat can be pretty costly. But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to have a good retreat with a limited budget.

Even if you plan a small DIY retreat of yourself, there are ways to incorporate everything in a regular retreat into your small one. In this article, I will talk about how to set up both types of retreats. Keep reading and I will tell you how to plan your own retreat. Both an elaborate one and a small DIY one.

Planning your own full writers retreat so other writers can join you at it:

This one can take a lot of planning and organizing to get it set up for people to attend. It can also take a lot of time to get it going. It could be as much as a year to get it all planned out and organized.

There is lodging to set up, and meals to plan. You have people to contact to give presentations. Materials and gifts to print up. And advertising to deal with.

There are a few costs involved when planning your retreats expenses. Some of them are:

  • Welcome bags and tee shirts

You hand out one of these to each guest. It can include things like

  1. an itinerary of events for the weekend or week
  2. An Amazon gift card for resources on writing.
  3. Menus to the local restaurants
  4. A tee-shirt with a literary quote
  5. Information about the books that are available for sale during the event
  6. A disposable camera to take pictures during the retreat.
  7. A note pad and pen to take notes during the lectures.

These are a few examples of what you can include in your welcome bags.

  • Lodging and conference room

You need to plan where everyone will stay and where the retreat will take place. Is it going to be a big event or a small one? You want to be sure everyone stays at the same hotel. You also need to be sure the place you are going to be staying at has a conference room. This is for all the presentations that will be taking place.

  • Program materials

These are any and all handouts that will go with each of the presentations that will go on during the event.

  • Speaker fees and travel expenses

If you are having speakers giving presentations at your retreat you will need to pay their fees. You will also have to pay any of their travel expenses they may incur. These can be professional authors, publishing agents, or marketers as an example.

  • Event promoting expense

You want to promote your retreat for people to join. What good is planning a major writers retreat if no one knows about it and signs up for it?

  • Meals, Snacks, and drinks

Everyone will need to eat while at the retreat. Most hotels provide free complimentary breakfast for each night you stay. But you still have to plan lunches and dinners for the guests. Or you can charge a smaller price of attending by having your guests provide their own meals. This is one reason to include a list of local restaurants. You also want to include directions to them, and menus in the guest’s welcome pack. You can even note which ones offer delivery.

Once you have the costs figured out you can then decided what to charge each participant for your retreat. You will want to charge a little more than the cost of expenses. This can have 2 benefits for you. It can cover the expense of your own attendance. And second, it can help cover some of your own writing or promotion expenses for your own books.

How to plan your one small DIY retreat.

As stated above a DIY retreat is one where you are the only participant. To plan one you can plan 2 or 3 days in a motel room. What kind of expenses will you have for this type of event? I talk about them below.


Your only expense is the cost of the room and food while you are there. These are the mandatory expenses. Optional expenses can include online courses. Ones dealing with things you want to learn in your writing business.

What do you do when you go on a DIY retreat?

There are many different activities that you can do during one of these types of retreats. The point is that you relax. You can do this while still accomplishing quite a bit of writing and related activities. Some ideas can include:

  1. Take a course on writing, marketing, and running your writing business.
  2. Read blog articles on writing
  3. Listen to podcasts or webinars about writing
  4. And of course, write on your current or new project

Final thoughts:

Getting away to a writer’s retreat has many advantages as mentioned above in this article. So whether you go on an all-out retreat with other writers, or you go on a DIY retreat it is a valuable experience. This is something you don’t want to miss.

When coming up with the money to go on a DIY retreat try stashing $10 a week. At the end of a year, you can go on a retreat. Or maybe you get a good tax check back that you can use part of it. You can then stash a couple hundred back and plan your retreat.

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