The art of the mini-retreat

photo-384I wrote a post for Fast Company recently on how to create a mini retreat. I realized it had been a while since I’d done one in my own life. The idea is to go somewhere interesting and either work on a project or think. About 18 months ago I went to Jim Thorpe to finish a draft of The Cortlandt Boys. When I needed to finish I Know How She Does It last year, my husband took the kids away for a week and I did an in-home retreat. I don’t have any big projects right now that need intense editing, but I do need to spend some time thinking about career direction and what my next projects should be.

So I preserved an open day this week and made the 90 minute drive to my favorite town on the Jersey shore. I sat on the beach and did some reading (on the beach! Without looking to see if someone was wandering into the water and drowning!) and writing and thinking. Then I went into the town center to do the same. I spent some time in the historical society doing things I wouldn’t do with others around, such as badgering the docent for information on Fanny Crosby, who summered there in the late 1800s. I am fascinated by this hymn writer and keep thinking I’d like to do something in my next fiction project touching on that. They did have a photo of her up on the wall.

photo-385Also, I ate a sundae.

As a day trip it was, of necessity, brief. But it’s good to get away from the desk for a bit. I like to have space to think in my life. It’s harder to create such space now than it used to be. But it is still possible, and I realized that I could probably make mini retreats a more regular feature of my life if I wanted.

Do you have any mini retreats planned?

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