How to create your own weeklong writing retreat:
1. Decide where you want to be. If you are anything like me, you’ll find that nature is essential. Fresh air, birdsong, and meandering country lanes are all very conducive to creativity, because you’ll have given yourself some extra space to think.
2. Find a self-catering establishment within your budget. (I recommend Green Lodge, where I stayed in West Cork. And I saved 10% by booking ahead!)
3. Get your basic needs taken care of right away (i.e., do your food shopping for the whole week) so you can focus on the work.
4. Don’t be hard on yourself when “the work” turns out to be something other than what you planned. Just go with it. Trust the process. (I had planned to work my way through a substantial revision of my new novel, but I wound up working on short pieces instead. I finished that revision a week after I got home, still nearly a month and a half in advance of my deadline!)
5. Stop and notice the world around you. Fill up. Enjoy.